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Starbucks opens first café in Colombia

Public-private partnership with USAID will increase Colombian coffee yields, enhance economic opportunities for Colombian farmers

August 27, 2013
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Starbucks Coffee Co., Seattle, announced that it will open its first café in Colombia next year, expanding the company’s longstanding relationship with Latin America and its 42-year heritage with Colombian coffee farmers.

Starbucks stores in Colombia will be operated through a joint venture between two of Starbucks’ longest-term business partners in the Latin America region: Alsea and Grupo Nutresa. As Starbucks’ leading licensed partner in Latin America for more than 10 years, Alsea operates more than 500 Starbucks stores across Mexico, Argentina and Chile. Colcafe, a subsidiary of Grupo Nutresa, worked with Starbucks on Starbucks Via instant coffee and continues to be a strategic partner in manufacturing and now retail, the company says.

Starbucks Colombia will open its first store in Bogota in 2014. The company also plans to open stores in Bogota and other major cities throughout Colombia in the next five years.

To further demonstrate its commitment to and investment in Colombia, Starbucks announced the expansion of its manufacturing relationship with Colcafe to offer Colombian customers locally sourced and roasted espresso, drip and packaged Colombian coffee. Under the new manufacturing agreement, Colcafe will build on the current roasting and manufacturing for Starbucks Via Colombia in their facility in Medellin, Colombia, and become the first roaster in Latin America to roast coffee for Starbucks espresso and packaged coffee.

Building on this commitment, Starbucks announced a public-private partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to increase Colombian coffee yields and enhance economic opportunities for Colombian farmers. This partnership will enable Starbucks to expand the collaboration with the Colombian Coffee Grower Federation as well as suppliers and exporters throughout Colombia to provide technical and agronomy support to Colombian farmers through a $1.5 million commitment by both Starbucks and USAID, creating a three-year $3 million investment. This investment will enable the Starbucks Farmer Support Center, established in Manizales, Colombia, in 2012, to deliver training and agronomy support and positively impact 25,000 farmers throughout the country.

Additionally, as part of its quest to continue placing Colombian coffee in the world spotlight, Starbucks will feature one single-origin Colombian coffee a year in the Starbucks Reserve Coffee Program. Starbucks is celebrating the third year of this program, which highlights rare small-lot coffees, including Colombian coffees from Risaralda and Cauca.

“Our long and proud history of purchasing and roasting Colombian coffee dates back to Starbucks’ 1971 founding,” said Starbucks Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz in a statement. “From our humble start in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, Starbucks has always admired and respected Colombia’s distinguished coffee tradition. It is an honor for us to bring the Starbucks experience and Colombia’s finest coffee to this important and fast-growing market while collaborating with Colombia and USAID to continue empowering local coffee growers and sharing the value, heritage and tradition of its coffee with the world.”

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