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Conservation International & Starbucks expand partnership, launch Verde Ventures loan program

SEATTLE; January 22, 2004 -- Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) and Conservation International (CI) today announced a $2.5 million direct loan by Starbucks to help capitalize CI's newly launched Verde Ventures fund. The fund helps provide direct access to affordable credit for small-scale coffee producers. Starbucks support is the largest loan commitment of its kind provided by a specialty coffee company. This new agreement extends Starbucks and CI's five-year partnership with an additional three-year, $1.5 million grant to support CI's Conservation Coffee™ program to conserve the environment while providing economic opportunities for coffee farmers.

"Starbucks values are reflected through its supply efforts and our involvement with Verde Ventures demonstrates our desire to address the pressing issues that coffee farmers face today," said Orin Smith, president and ceo of Starbucks Coffee Company. "We hope that farmers will utilize their loans for conservation coffee production that protects the Earth's natural resources, improves their livelihoods, and provides Starbucks with sustainably grown, high quality coffee."

CI will use Starbucks financing of the Verde Ventures program to provide pre- and post-harvest loans and capital improvement financing to coffee producers. With Verde Ventures, Starbucks and CI are taking a leadership role in the coffee industry to address some of the financial challenges facing small-scale coffee producers.

Most of the loans will be distributed to small-scale producers in Central and South America. To date, three loans totaling nearly $435,000 have been approved for participants of the Conservation Coffee™ program in Chiapas, Mexico, and a cooperative of organic coffee farmers in Sumatra. CI owns and manages Verde Ventures, a $6 million investment fund which strengthens small and medium-sized enterprises contributing to biodiversity conservation in CI's priority areas through debt and equit
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Contact: Jason Anderson
j.anderson@celb.org
202-912-1464
Conservation International
22-Jan-2004


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