Starbucks offers visibility into how it sources coffee beans

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Starbucks offers visibility into how it sources coffee beans

By Dan Berthiaume - 08/20/2020

Starbucks is offering a new digital traceability tool that gives customers a virtual view into where their coffee beans come from.

The new solution enables customers to visit traceability.starbucks.com on a mobile device or laptop and scan or enter the number on the back of any bag of whole bean coffee at Starbucks stores in the U.S. The tool then virtually takes the customer to the part of the world their coffee was grown, introduces them to some of the farmers growing coffee there, and lets them meet some of the roasters. 

It is not mandatory to scan a bag of coffee to obtain sustainability information, as customers can also use the Starbucks mobile app. Starbucks developed the tool in collaboration with Conservation International, a nonprofit committed to environmental protection. In 2004, Starbucks launched Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E). Practices, a comprehensive set of social, economic, environmental and quality guidelines for how coffee should be ethically sourced. 

“We’ve always known where our coffee comes from as part of C.A.F.E. Practices, our responsible sourcing program, but now, with this tool we have the opportunity to transparently share that information with everyone,” said Michelle Burns, senior VP, Global Coffee, Tea and Cocoa. “Every coffee has a story to tell, and I could not be more excited for people to be more connected to the whole coffee experience, from bean to cup, and meet the many people whose hard work, time and attention makes coffee possible.”

“Growing coffee, particularly at the quality and rigor required by Starbucks responsible sourcing standards, is not easy, and it’s exciting to get to share the stories of the coffee producers who make it happen,” said Abigail Kroon, traceability manager, Starbucks Global Coffee Team “They are a huge part of our daily cup of coffee, and with traceability we can make that connection more direct.”