Starbucks Buys The Farm

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Starbucks Coffee Farm Costa Rica

Last month, the worlds largest coffee chain announced that it had purchased it’s own coffee farm. Starbucks, known for it’s domination of the coffee industry, bought a 240 hectare coffee farm on the slopes of the Poás Volcano in Costa Rica.

Besides growing and harvesting it’s own beans the company intends to convert the farm to an agronomy and research development center where it will research ways to combat the roya fungus (or leaf rust), which attacks coffee leaves, draining thier nutrients and consequently lowering bean yields.

A recent estimate by the ICO (International Coffee Organization) was that approximately 2.5 million 60 kilo bags of coffee bean crops could potentialy be lost in the 2012/13 global coffee output due to leaf rust, with losses climbing to approximately 4 million bags in 2013/14 global coffee output, an astonishing 18% of the global coffee output.

As part of it’s “ethical sourcing program” the purchase of the Costa Rican coffee farm is planned to help coffee farmers mitigate climate change and support long-term crop stability. Starbucks defines ethical sourcing as a process that uses “responsible purchasing practices, farmer loans and forest conservation programs,” and it’s the company’s goal that 100% of it’s coffee is ethically sourced by the year 2015.

A spokeswoman for Starbucks’ is reported to have said that the coffee farm, which employs about 70 workers and grows arabica beans, will continue to harvest the beans to be roasted and sold by the company. CEO Howard Schultz said in the news release that “It also opens up an opportunity for Starbucks to innovate with proprietary coffee varietals that can support the development of future blends.”



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