Starbucks has bought a 240-hectare Costa Rican coffee farm on the slopes of the Poas Volcano. The terms of the sale, expected to be finalized in May, are not being disclosed. Starbucks has invested in farm support along its supply chain for decades — most recently investing in China — but this is the first time the company has outright bought a coffee farm.
Starbucks says the Costa Rican farm will serve as a “global agronomy center,” allowing the company to test new arabica varietals to come up with future blends, while also helping expand its Coffee and Farming Equity practices (C.A.F.E.) program, promoting the company’s efforts to ethically source all of its coffees by 2015.
“This investment, and the cumulative impact it will have when combined with programs we have put into place over the last forty years, will support the resiliency of coffee farmers and their families as well as the one million people that represent our collective coffee supply chain,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and ceo. “It also opens up an opportunity for Starbucks to innovate with proprietary coffee varietals that can support the development of future blends.”