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USAID, Conservation International & Starbucks launch Conservation Coffee Alliance in Central America

Seeking to improve the livelihoods of small-scale coffee farmers while conserving the environment, the United States Government, working through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today joined forces with Conservation International (CI) and Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) to create the Conservation Coffee Alliance.

With a focus on Central America and Mexico, the Alliance promotes private sector approaches within the coffee industry that are environmentally sensitive, socially responsible and economically viable. The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Tony Garza, hosted the official signing of the memorandum of understanding in Mexico City launching the Alliance.

"USAID began its environmental activities in Mexico in 1989 and was the first bilateral donor to support the Mexican Government and conservation community's efforts towards sustainable development," said Adolfo Franco, administrator for Latin America, U.S. Agency for International Development. "Since then, USAID's commitment to conservation and social welfare has grown stronger. USAID is proud to support the Starbucks Conservation International partnership for the benefit of local communities living in one of Mexico's important ecosystems. This Alliance approach is a new, creative way of doing business. It combines market forces and business interests to help improve the lives of rural people and the environment worldwide."

Building upon the success of the six-year partnership between Starbucks and CI, the Alliance uses a field-to-cup approach to community-level conservation that includes all aspects of producing, processing and marketing specialty coffee. The work supported by the Alliance is intended to provide economic incentives and technical assistance that will enable small-scale farmers to adopt conservation practices while producing high quality coffee. Activities will focus on CI's Conservation CoffeeTM projects in Mexico, Costa
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Contact: Jason Anderson
j.anderson@celb.org
202-912-1464
Conservation International
27-Sep-2004


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