In a first for the coffee industry, Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) today announced new coffee purchasing guidelines developed in partnership with The Center for Environmental Leadership in Business, a division of Conservation International (CI). The goal of the guidelines is to support Starbucks commitment to purchase coffee that has been grown and processed by suppliers who meet important environmental, social, economic and quality standards.
Global coffee production can only be sustainable if it is economically viable, socially responsible and environmentally sensitive at all levels of the supply chain, said Orin Smith, Starbucks president and ceo. Over the past year we have been working on the sourcing guidelines and we feel they are important steps that will help increase production of high quality coffee and improve the health of the specialty coffee industry.
To launch the guidelines, Starbucks will enlist the support of coffee suppliers who are sustainability advocates. Starbucks has instituted a flexible point system that rewards performance in sustainable categories. Points will be accrued based on a suppliers ability to meet the sustainability guidelines, and suppliers who earn more points in the program will receive higher purchasing preference when Starbucks purchases green coffee. As part of its long-standing practice of paying premium prices for coffee, Starbucks will provide up to ten cents per pound in additional premiums to vendors based upon how well their coffee samples meet the standards. These financial incentives will help to defray the costs incurred by participating suppliers. Suppliers wishing to participate will be required to provide independent, third party verification of their performance against the guidelines.
With these guidelines, Starbucks is taking a leadership role in addressing the environmental and social issues surro
Contact: Jason W. Anderson