Sustainable Coffee Challenge (SCC) promotes sustainable guidance for coffee businesses and their suppliers.

Sustainable means to produce something in a way that avoids the depletion of natural resources in order to help prevent damage to our environment. It is also used to refer to labour practices that are fair to employees, that help them to gain skills and either gain or remain in work. 

Sustainable (environmentally friendly) coffee practices will:

  • Ensure coffee contributes to improved income and profitability for the 25 million coffee producers, workers and their families, so they benefit from the profits and not just the company itself.
  • Implement sustainable agricultural practices to triple productivity on existing 10 million hectares of coffee, to sustain the supply and enable the sector to meet rising consumption and the growing demand for coffee in a socially and environmentally responsible way.
  • Prevent the clearing of one additional hectare of high conservation-value forest or depleting other natural resources in order to provide enhanced coffee production.

Starbucks goals

There are more coffee drinkers in the world than ever before, but each year, climate change, disease and diminishing natural resources can make the business of coffee farming more and more difficult. In 2013, we at Starbucks purchased a coffee farm in Costa Rica, called Hacienda Alsacia, to better understand these challenges, and to look for solutions. Since then, the farm has become a global hub of research and discovery – discoveries the team their hopes will help coffee farmers all over the planet and the ongoing challenges they face. This puts Starbucks ahead of the game in terms of aligning with the green agenda being promoted by pressure groups and scientists. 

Goal 1: 100% ethically sourced coffee

We continue to work as part of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge (SCC) to make coffee the world’s first sustainable agricultural product and improve the lives of at least one million people in coffee communities around the world. For the fifth year in a row more than 99% of our coffee was verified as ethically sourced under SCC guidelines. Although we are constantly striving for 100%, the last 1% is where some of our most important work happens, bringing on new farmers and cooperatives to help ensure the long-term future of coffee.

Goal 2: Provide 100 million coffee trees to farmers by 2025

Starbucks has donated coffee trees over the past four years to farmers in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador. These climate-resilient trees replace ones that are declining in productivity due to age and disease, such as coffee leaf rust, and help improve the quality and yields of their harvests. As of June 2020, the next 10 million are being distributed, with close monitoring of potential complications related to COVID-19.

Goal 3: Train 200,000 farmers by the end of 2020

Our Global Agronomy Centres and Farmer Support Center at Hacienda Alsacia in Costa Rica and our eight other Farmer Support Centres around the world provide open-source training and other resources to coffee farmers. This means that they can stay up to date with the latest methods on, for example: fertilizing the crop, effects of climate change on the coffee; irrigation or water provision, prevention of pests and disease. 

Goal 4: Empower at least 250,000 women and families in coffee, tea and cocoa growing communities globally by 2025

Starbucks has a long history of investment in coffee, tea and cocoa producing communities to address their most critical needs, with a recognition that an investment in women and girls leads to greater impact for families and communities as a whole. On International Women’s Day 2018, The Starbucks Foundation announced a new goal to empower 250,000 women and girls in origin communities by 2025. To reach that goal, The Starbucks Foundation has partnered with Malala Yousafzai (Nobel Prize winner), supporting programs around women’s leadership, access to finance, and healthy homes. These projects aim to break down barriers to education, promote clean water and sanitation, and create economic opportunities for women and girls.

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