We are proud to announce that we have received a Starbucks Foundation grant of $350,000 toward a two-year project that contributes to the protection of the local ecosystem, provides sustainable livelihoods, and fosters community in Colombia: Pro-Café: Protecting Ecosystem Services for Sustainable Coffee Livelihoods.
Coffee growers’ livelihoods and quality of life in central Colombia are at risk due to deteriorating environmental conditions caused by both a changing climate and poor community hygiene and sanitation practices. As profitability of traditional coffee production and agricultural activities decreases, farmers often adopt unsustainable practices that further deteriorate the natural environment. As the negative spiral continues, migration away from the coffee-producing communities increases, and conflict erupts over use and control of natural resources — in particular over water and land — threatening to reignite forced displacement in the region.
Over the past 40 years, Starbucks has been dedicated to helping improve the lives of farmers and their families around the world who grow their coffee. Through a comprehensive approach to ethical sourcing Starbucks is paying equitable prices, providing access to farmer loans and technical assistance to help farmers to navigate the complexities of agriculture – a long term process. In total, Starbucks has invested more than $70 million in collaborative farmer programs and activities over the past 40 years. In 2015, Starbucks will achieve the goal of 99 percent of its coffee being verified as ethically sourced. Additional details about Starbucks initiatives in coffee and tea communities are available at Starbucks.com/Responsibility/sourcing.