Starbucks Coffee Company
Starbucks Coffee Company is one of the finest coffee companies in the world, operating more than 15,000 stores in 50 countries and offering over 30 varieties of premium Arabica coffee.
Earthwatch and Starbucks have been in partnership since 2001, supporting scientific field research and employee engagement for more than a decade. Over the past four years, this partnership has helped to promote sustainable farming practices in one of the world’s premier coffee-growing regions. In collaboration with CoopeTarrazu, a 2,500-farmer cooperative in the Los Santos region of Costa Rica, Earthwatch and Starbucks have worked with farmers to increase the use of practices and tools that benefit both the farmers and the natural environment.
Since 2007, more than 400 people, comprised of teams of Starbucks partners (employees), Starbucks customers, and Earthwatch volunteers, helped researchers to collect data on soil acidity, plant productivity, and the use of agricultural inputs. At the same time, they’ve learned about key relationships between sustainable practices and quality coffee. Research findings have demonstrated that farmers can increase coffee yields up to 25% by reducing the use of fertilizers and reducing soil acidity – creating financial returns of up to $1200 for farmers and improved environmental outcomes.
Beginning in 2010, Starbucks support for the Coffee Sustainability Leaders program has spread the outcomes of this program to 4 additional cooperatives across Costa Rica and will allow the results of this partnership to be distributed to other coffee growing regions of the world.