Question: What is a Farmer Support Center?
Answer: You may have heard the term “Farmer Support Center” from Starbucks before. Our farmer support centers are run by agronomists and other scientists in coffee-growing regions so that they can work directly with coffee farmers and suppliers. The staff evaluates social, environmental and economic aspects of coffee production to help ensure that the coffee Starbucks purchases is grown and processed in a responsible manner while helping to improve the quality of the crops. Our agronomists also help share best practices with farmers to improve growing and conservation techniques.
Question: When did Starbucks first open a Farmer Support Center?
Answer: The first Starbucks Farmer Support Center was opened in Costa Rica in 2004. This center allows Starbucks to work closely with farmers and suppliers who implement Starbucks coffee growing guidelines known as Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices, the ethical sourcing guidelines under Starbucks™ Shared Planet™. C.A.F.E Practices is a set of guidelines that include more than 120 standards for quality, environmental practices, social and economic standards, and price transparency to farmers. This commitment to ethical sourcing allows coffee farmers to share in Starbucks mission and success.
Question: How many centers are there?
Answer: Last month we opened our second Farmer Support Center in Rwanda. Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, visited Rwanda to meet with President Kagame, the head of the Coffee Development Board, and local coffee farmers and exporters. The center will work with East African coffee communities to help them continue to improve their coffee quality and to increase the number of suppliers producing coffee that can be imported by Starbucks. The farmer support and service is available for free. Starbucks agronomists and quality experts work directly with farmers to develop and use more responsible methods to grow better coffee and help improve the quality and size of the harvest to attract better prices.
We are also planning on opening a center in Ethiopia at a later date.
Question: Are there more pictures of Howard’s trip to Rwanda for the opening of the Farmer Support Center?
Answer: Yes! Check out our Facebook album (you don’t have to have a Facebook profile to view our photos).
More questions? Post them in the comment stream below. Thanks for reading!
To learn more about our Farmer Support Centers, please visit our Starbucks™ Shared Planet™ website.