Starbucks’ One Tree for Every Bag commitment raised 15 million trees to support farming communities in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador

Seattle, 2016-Jul-26 — /EPR Retail News/ — In countries across Latin America, coffee rust is a plague, making it harder for farmers to produce high-quality coffee. In the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, coffee rust forced Rolando Lopez to downsize his farm, which is at 50-70 percent of its typical productivity.

“We didn’t know that it was going to be this destructive,” Lopez said. “Within a year, we saw the effect of the coffee rust in the plants. It was very hard for coffee producers.”

Starbucks is helping farmers like Lopez tackle coffee rust, a fungus that has damaged millions of coffee trees around the world, through the company’s One Tree for Every Bag commitment. Launched in September 2015, the program helps donate one rust-resistant coffee tree for each bag of packaged coffee purchased in U.S. Starbucks stores. In the first 10 months of the One Tree for Every Bag commitment, Starbucks customers have purchased 15 million bags of coffee to support farming communities in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Lopez, a third-generation coffee farmer, is grateful for the rust-resistant trees that are helping him recover his coffee yields. “This is all I know how to do – produce coffee,” he said. “This tree initiative is a relief because we know we have security for our coffee production.”

One Tree for Every Bag was inspired by the Todos Sembramos Café program, which means “We All Grow Coffee,” in more than 500 stores in Mexico. The efforts help ensure farmer livelihoods and the stability of the coffee supply for the industry for generations to come.

Starbucks is working with Conservation International (CI) to ensure coffee trees are successfully distributed, planted and thriving. The distribution of each coffee tree will be supported by Starbucks Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices, developed over a decade ago with CI to safeguard responsible purchasing practices and economic, social and environmental standards, globally. These sourcing standards are then augmented by Starbucks Farmer Support Centers that provide on-the-ground agronomy services.

The One Tree for Every Bag commitment not only lays the groundwork to revitalize coffee farms, but also uplifts surrounding communities in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador. According to ECOM Agroindustrial Corp. – a global commodity merchant and sustainable supply-chain management company – nearly 800 jobs will be generated in Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico. Many of them will be seasonal and long-term opportunities at the three Guatemalan, four El Salvadoran and three Mexican nurseries producing most of the 15 million rust-resistant seedlings that will be delivered this year. The total includes an initial Starbucks donation of 1 million coffee trees.

About One Tree for Every Bag Commitment
Starbucks has committed to planting a coffee tree for every bag of coffee purchased in participating U.S. stores through September 2016. Starbucks contributes 70 cents, the average cost of a tree, to Conservation International for every bag of coffee sold from participating stores in the United States. Starbucks works with Sustainable Management Services in the export and delivery of green coffee, and to germinate the seedlings and distribute the trees.

Media contact:

Global
Phone: 206 318 7100
Email: press@starbucks.com

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Starbucks' One Tree for Every Bag commitment raised 15 million trees to support farming communities in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador
Starbucks’ One Tree for Every Bag commitment raised 15 million trees to support farming communities in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador

 

Source: Starbucks

Starbucks hit the 10-million coffee trees milestone in its One Tree for Every Bag Commitment

SEATTLE, 2016-Mar-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — When Starbucks hit the 10-million coffee trees milestone in its One Tree for Every Bag Commitment today, the groundwork was laid to not only revitalize coffee farms, but also uplift surrounding communities in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Starbucks announced the One Tree for Every Bag Commitment last fall, pledging to plant a coffee tree for every bag of coffee purchased at any U.S. store. The trees will be distributed to C.A.F.E. Practices-verified farms that have felt the impact of coffee rust, a plant fungus that’s damaged millions of trees around the world and affected farmers’ incomes dramatically.

According to ECOM Agroindustrial Corp. – a global commodity merchant and sustainable supply-chain management company – nearly 800 jobs will be generated in Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico. Many of them will be seasonal and long-term opportunities at the three Guatemalan, four El Salvadoran and three Mexican nurseries producing most of the 11 million rust-resistant seedlings that will be delivered this year. The 11 million total includes an initial Starbucks donation of 1 million coffee trees.

Related video: See why rust-resistant coffee tree seedlings are needed

Teddy Esteve, Chief Executive Officer for ECOM, emphasized the need for workers to grow along with the seedlings.

“Job creation is number one at the nursery level, but I cannot stress enough what happens on the logistics side,” Esteve said. “We are creating hundreds of third-party jobs.”

Delivery of the trees will begin toward the end of May and will be completed in August. That phase will prompt a flurry of activity beyond the nurseries.

“A large truck can hold 8,000 seedlings,” said Colman Cuff, managing director of Starbucks Coffee Trading Company, which is responsible for the company’s global green coffee purchasing. “So you look at areas that are getting more than two million trees and you start to realize that’s 250-plus trucks that need to come and go in a short time.”

The trees will be arriving in regions that have suffered setbacks in recent years related to coffee rust, the loss of young people leaving their communities in pursuit of income, and the technical limitations of many farmers, said Alain Poncelet, deputy chief executive officer of Coffee and Cocoa at ECOM.

“The farmers were basically keeping old trees that their grandparents had planted,” Poncelet said. “By putting the right seedlings and the right amount of work and investment in the lands they have, they can actually make much more money over the long term. That’s not so easily done, because those people need every single dollar out of their farms that they can get.”

“The big opportunity here is for people to realize that these are high-yielding trees that are producing really good quality coffee and will end up getting a very good price, because it’s obvious Starbucks will be behind that coffee in the future,” said Esteve.

ECOM estimates the One Tree for Every Bag Commitment will generate 340 seasonal and long-term jobs in Guatemala, 253 in Mexico and 185 in El Salvador.

“The impact will be much bigger than the millions of trees that are being delivered,” he added. “They will set an example. Hopefully it’s not going to stop here and we can continue to support the growing regions with more trees in the future.”

For more information on this news release, contact the Starbucks Newsroom

 

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Starbucks hit the 10-million coffee trees milestone in its One Tree for Every Bag Commitment

Starbucks hit the 10-million coffee trees milestone in its One Tree for Every Bag Commitment