Starbucks Honors Colombian Coffee Heritage with Entry into Colombia Retail Market and Expanded Support for Farmers

Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:00pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Starbucks Honors Colombian Coffee Heritage with Entry into Colombia Retail Market and Expanded Support for Farmers

First store scheduled to open in Bogotá in the first half of 2014

100% of drip, espresso, and packaged Colombian coffee served and sold in Colombia will be roasted in Colombia

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to expand Colombia coffee grower support program in $3 million partnership with Starbucks Farmer Support Center

Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) today announced that it will open its first café in Colombia next year, expanding the company’s longstanding relationship with Latin America and 42-year heritage with Colombian coffee farmers.

After meeting today with Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer Howard Schultz said, “Our long and proud history of purchasing and roasting Colombian coffee dates back to Starbucks 1971 founding. From our humble start in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, Starbucks has always admired and respected Colombia’s distinguished coffee tradition. It is an honor for us to bring the Starbucks Experience and Colombia’s finest coffee to this important and fast-growing market while collaborating with Colombia and USAID to continue empowering local coffee growers and sharing the value, heritage and tradition of its coffee with the world.”

Starbucks stores in Colombia will be operated through a joint venture between two of Starbucks longest-term business partners in the Latin America region – Alsea and Grupo Nutresa. As Starbucks leading licensed partner in Latin America for more than 10 years, the alliance with Alsea covers more than 500 Starbucks® stores across Mexico, Argentina and Chile. Alsea started operations in the Colombian market in 2008, and today is operating three brands with a total of 48 locations.

Colcafe, a subsidiary of Grupo Nutresa, Colombia’s leading food company, worked with Starbucks on the breakthrough Starbucks VIA® soluble coffee and continues to be an innovative, strategic partner in manufacturing and now retail.

Starbucks Colombia will open its first store in Bogota in 2014. The company has aggressive plans to open stores in Bogota and other major cities throughout Colombia over the next five years.

Fabián Gosselin, Alsea’s chief executive officer commented, “We are very excited to work alongside such a prestigious Colombian company as Grupo Nutresa, to introduce the Starbucks Experience in Colombia.” Gosselin added, “I am convinced that the dynamism and evolution of this market, together with its rich coffee culture tradition, will welcome a first-class brand such as Starbucks and its premium Colombian and world coffee blends. This will give us the opportunity to execute an aggressive and profitable development plan, which will strengthen our expansion strategy in Latin America.”

Locally Sourced and Roasted Colombian Coffee

To further demonstrate its deep commitment to and investment in Colombia, Starbucks announced the expansion of its manufacturing relationship with Colcafe to offer Colombian customers locally sourced and roasted espresso, drip and packaged Colombian coffee. Starbucks has been roasting coffee in Colombia with Colcafe since 2008, when Starbucks developed its signature Starbucks VIA Ready Brew. Under the new manufacturing agreement, Colcafe will build on the current roasting and manufacturing for Starbucks VIA Colombia in their facility in Medellin, Colombia, and become the first roaster in Latin America to roast coffee for Starbucks espresso and packaged coffee.

Carlos Piedrahita, Grupo Nutresa’s chief executive officer said, “We feel very confident that partnering with Alsea, given their proven track record of successfully operating Starbucks in Latin America, together with our local knowledge, will allow us to deliver the Starbucks Experience to Colombians and achieve a leading position in the market.” Piedrahita added, “We have great pride in being the first Latin American market where Starbucks commits to serving only locally sourced and roasted Colombian coffee. We are highly honored to enter this partnership and to be the first roaster in this region to merit the support and trust of such a respected and admired global brand as Starbucks.”

Investing in Colombian Farmers

Starbucks plans to continue to build on its 42-year purchasing relationship with Colombian coffee producers and further strengthen the company’s support for Colombian coffee farmers. To build on this commitment, today Starbucks announced a public-private partnership with USAID to increase Colombian coffee yields and enhance economic opportunities for Colombian farmers. This partnership will enable Starbucks to expand the collaboration with the Colombian Coffee Grower Federation and suppliers and exporters throughout Colombia to provide technical and agronomy support to Colombian farmers through a $1.5 million commitment by both Starbucks and USAID creating a three-year $3 million investment. This investment will enable the Starbucks Farmer Support Center, established in Manizales, Colombia in 2012, to deliver training and agronomy support and positively impact 25,000 farmers throughout the country.

USAID Administrator Raj Shah said, “We are proud to partner with Starbucks in Colombia, a company that, like us, understands the role of strategic partnerships to achieve long-term, sustainable, economic solutions. Through this collaboration, we are helping to meet critical development needs in rural areas of Colombia that will create stability and sustainability for small-scale coffee growers.”

Colombian Coffee Heritage and Commitment

With more than four decades of coffee heritage and expertise, Starbucks is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world and has built the brand on its passion and pursuit of high quality coffee. Starbucks is proud to source, roast and serve top quality Colombian coffees in 62 countries around the world. Colombian coffees are among the most consistent in terms of taste and quality and serve as the backbone for many signature Starbucks coffee blends such as Espresso Roast and House Blend. Starbucks began purchasing coffee from Colombia in 1971 and today purchases coffee from eight producing regions throughout the country. Today, Starbucks purchases more high-quality arabica coffee from Colombia than any other company in the world.

As part of its quest to continue placing Colombian coffee in the world spotlight, Starbucks will feature one single-origin Colombian coffee per year in the Starbucks Reserve® Coffee Program. Starbucks is celebrating the third year of this innovative program which finds customers rare, exotic and exquisite small-lot coffees, including Colombian coffees from Risaralda and Cauca. Starbucks will continue to work with Colombian producers to feature Colombia’s finest coffees in this program.

Today Starbucks operates more than 650 stores and employs more than 10,000 partners (employees) across 12 markets in Latin America.

About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting the highest-quality arabica coffee in the world. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at www.starbucks.com.

About Alsea

Alsea is the leading restaurant operator in Latin America with globally recognized brands in the quick service, coffee shop and casual dining segments. It has a multi-brand portfolio comprised of Domino’s Pizza, Starbucks, Burger King, Chili’s, California Pizza Kitchen, P.F. Chang’s, Pei-Wei, Italianni’s and The Cheesecake Factory. At the end of June 2013, the company operated 1,768 units in Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Colombia. Alsea's business model includes backing for all of its Business Units through a Shared Services and Support Center that provides aid for all of the Administrative and Development Processes, as well as the Supply Chain. The Company has more than 30,880 employees in five countries.

Alsea has earned the distinction of a “Socially Responsible Company,” and it is one of the top 20 “Best Places to Work” in Mexico. For more information please visit: www.alsea.com.mx

About Grupo Nutresa

Grupo Nutresa is the fourth largest food company in Latin America in terms of market cap and is the leader of the processed foods industry in Colombia. The group participates in six lines of business: coffee, biscuits, chocolates, ice cream, cold cuts, and pasta. It is made up of 54 companies that have beloved and recognized brands. Nutresa employs more than 30,000 partners and has a 90-year history of delivering nutritious products that provide their consumers with wellness and enjoyment in their daily lives. We are present in 15 countries in the Americas, from the United States to Chile and Southeast Asia in Malaysia. We sell our products in 70 countries across five continents, with global sales amounting to USD 3 Billion. For more information please visit: www.gruponutresa.com

Starbucks Media Contact:
Haley Drage, +1-206-318-7100
Starbucks Public Affairs
press@starbucks.com

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.