The new investment more than doubles the fund, started back in 2008 with £12.5m.

“This new investment demonstrates how we remain steadfast in our support of farmers around the world,” said Craig Russell, executive vice president of global coffee for Starbucks.

“By providing access to capital, farmers have the ability to make strategic investments in their infrastructure, offering the stability they need to manage ongoing complexities so that there is a future for them and the industry.”

Preparing for extreme weather is particularly important for coffee farmers, whose crop requires almost five times the amount of water as tea to grow.

This work improves coffee quality, sustainability and overall profitability for the entire specialty coffee industry, Starbucks said.


More than 40,000 farmers have already benefited from the funding scheme, carried out in partnership with leading lending organizations such as Root Capital and the Fairtrade Access Fund.

Root Capital CEO William Fulbright Foote said: “Starbucks has always understood the importance of investing in coffee farmers offering access to credit and financial management training.

“Farmers who receive loans from Root Capital are able to increase their livelihoods and become more reliable and resilient suppliers by improving environmental protection, crop yields, and product quality; thereby becoming more reliable and resilient suppliers.”

In 2015, Starbucks verified 99% of its coffee as ethically sourced, and the company also joined the Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG) in January.

Rival coffee purveyor Costa Coffee earned headlines back in April when it launched its ‘Eco Pod’ cafe concept which is completely energy neutral.

VIDEO: Starbucks’ journey to supply chain sustainability

Brad Allen

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