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Starbucks Pays Farmers $20 Million More as Coffee Crisis Deepens

  • More than 8,000 farmers in Latin America received payments
  • Company wants a ‘diversity’ of origins for the beans it buys
Arabica coffee beans sit out to sun dry after wet-processing at a coffee plantation in Madapura, Karnataka, India.
Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan
Updated on

Starbucks Corp. is giving farmers a cushion against the blow of tumbling coffee prices, a move that could also protect supplies of the high-quality beans the company needs.

The world’s largest coffee chain operator paid over 8,000 farmers in Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala a premium totaling $20 million, according to Michelle Burns, senior vice president of global coffee and tea at Starbucks. That’s on top of the regular amounts it pays over futures prices for specialty arabica beans, she said.