News Column

Starbucks Buys Costa Rica Coffee Farm

March 20, 2013

L. Arias, The Tico Times, San Jose, Costa Rica

Starbucks Corp. bought a coffee farm next to Poas Volcano in the province of Alajuela to expand the company's grower-support program and allow the coffee-shop operator to purchase more coffee beans grown in an ethical fashion.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the transaction may have hovered between $5- $10 million and was closed last week.

The 240-hectare farm will help support growers and their families, while allowing Starbucks to create new blends of coffee to sell, Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz said in a statement. Seattle-based Starbucks has committed to buying only ethically sourced coffee by 2015, The Washington Post reported.

The farm will allow development of new varieties of Starbucks coffee through hybridization (but not genetic modification) and different processing techniques that result in a unique flavored coffee, the company stated.

Starbucks, which sells fair-trade blends and reserve coffees from several countries has spent some $70 million during the past 40 years on farmer-support programs and loans.

It opened its first farmer-support center in San Jose, Costa Rica, in 2004 and has since opened others in Rwanda, Tanzania, Colombia and China.

Last year the company opened its first two coffee shops in Costa Rica, at malls in San Jose.



Source: (c)2013 The Tico Times (San José, CRI) Distributed by MCT Information Services


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