SEATTLE / OAKLAND, Calif.; April 10, 2000 Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq:SBUX) and TransFair USA have formed an innovative alliance in which Starbucks will market Fair Trade Certified coffee in over 2,000 retail locations across the United States and through the website. Starbucks purchases of Fair Trade Certified coffee will be from certified importers who have paid the farmers a fair price (as defined by internationally accepted Fair Trade standards for coffee), which will be a premium over the prevailing market price.
Under the agreement, Starbucks will develop marketing, promotional and educational materials about Fair Trade Certified coffee and display TransFair USAs Fair Trade Certified label on coffee that has been grown, processed, traded and marketed in accordance with international Fair Trade criteria. Under the terms of the agreement, Starbucks will source, roast and sell Fair Trade coffee to meet growing consumer demand. After one year from the date the Fair Trade Certified coffee is introduced into the stores, Starbucks and TransFair will evaluate the success of the initiative and define ongoing collaboration based on consumer demand.
This is a breakthrough for Fair Trade Certified coffee in the United States, said Paul Rice, Executive Director, TransFair USA. At a time when international coffee prices continue to fall, farming families around the world depend on the US coffee industry to share the success of the coffee boom. Starbucks extensive network of stores provides an excellent forum to educate customers about Fair Trade. We believe that Fair Trade is the most powerful and direct way for customers to help improve the lives of coffee farmers and their families around the world.
We are very excited about the opportunity to bring Fair Trade coffee certified by TransFair USA to our customers, said Dave Olsen, Starbucks senior vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility. This program will provide an additional opportunity for Starbucks to have a meaningful impact on the working and living conditions faced by many who grow, harvest and process coffee throughout the world.
Starbucks has already purchased and will roast and sell Fair Trade Certified coffees initially from both Guatemala and Nicaragua in calendar year 2000.
Starbucks considers promoting Fair Trade Certified coffee as one of several promising approaches to improving the lives of coffee farmers and their families. Starbucks will continue its efforts with organizations that are helping coffee farmers and their families through support of CARE, Conservation International and other similar organizations.
As part of Starbucks comprehensive strategy to support sustainable coffee production, the company also will expand its purchases of shade grown and organic coffees. Starbucks is committed to its goal of sourcing coffees of the highest quality that support a sustainable social, ecological and economic model for the production and trade of coffee. Starbucks believes that continued and growing participation with these organizations demonstrates our commitment to coffee producers and their families, communities and natural environment.
TransFair USA, a non-profit agency, is the only organization providing independent, third-party certification of Fair Trade products in the US. TransFair promotes mutually-beneficial relationships between farmers and coffee companies, and educates consumers about international trade and economic development. Through regular visits to Fair Trade farmer cooperatives, and partnerships with participating coffee companies in the US, TransFair guarantees that farmers who produce Fair Trade Certified products have received a decent living wage. By monitoring trade from crop to cup, TransFair guarantees that Fair Trade Certified products were grown and traded responsibly.
Starbucks Coffee Company is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world. In addition to its retail locations in North America, the United Kingdom, the Pacific Rim, and the Middle East, Starbucks sells whole bean coffees through its specialty sales group, direct response business, supermarkets and online at m. Additionally, Starbucks produces and sells bottled Frappuccino coffee drink and a line of premium ice creams through its joint venture partnerships and offers a line of innovative premium teas produced by its wholly owned subsidiary, Tazo Tea Company