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Coffee Industry Expert Mary Williams Receives Individual Green Globe Award From The Rainforest Alliance

Published 05-15-03

Submitted by Starbucks Corporation

SEATTLE, WA - Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) is pleased to announce that Mary Williams was presented with the Individual Green Globe Award by the Rainforest Alliance on Wednesday, May 14 in New York City. Williams recently retired as the senior vice president of Coffee for Starbucks and currently serves as an advisor to the Company.

The Individual Green Globe Award is presented annually to celebrate those that demonstrate dedication, innovation and a commitment to the global environment. The Rainforest Alliance honored Williams for her lifelong commitment to merging the definitions of quality and sustainability in the specialty coffee industry.

"Mary's expert palate defined the Starbucks taste," said Orin Smith, Starbucks president and chief executive officer. "Mary's personal code of ethics serves as a constant reminder that those in the supply chain can improve the lives of coffee farmers and their families. Mary has been instrumental in setting the standard for developing coffee quality, while helping to improve the health and education of the people employed in growing coffee."

"The sustainability of coffee farmers is crucial for the success and growth of the coffee industry, for it is their livelihood that undoubtedly determines the continued quality of the coffees produced each year," said Mary Williams. "I have been blessed to work for such a forward-thinking company as Starbucks where a proactive approach has always been used to create lasting solutions to help those who produce our coffees. I am honored to be recognized by the Rainforest Alliance in receiving the Individual Green Globe Award."

"This award is an indication of sustainability going increasingly mainstream in the coffee world," said Tensie Whelan, director of the Rainforest Alliance. "The bridge between sustainable farms and coffee drinkers in consumer countries was once a slender one, but companies like Starbucks are helping make it a superhighway. This kind of channel to consumers is so important; as sustainably sourced coffee catches on with them, the economics of the whole market can change and confer enormous environmental and social benefits."

Williams' Background

As one of the most skilled coffee tasters in the world and one of the few women in the green coffee business, Mary Williams' 30 years of experience made her part adventurer and part determined investigator. Williams joined Starbucks Coffee Company in 1993 as vice president, Green Coffee, and was promoted to senior vice president, Coffee in 1997. In 2002, she was named chairman of Starbucks Coffee Trading Company, Lausanne, Switzerland. As senior vice president, Coffee, Williams was responsible for ensuring that Starbucks serves only the best coffees the world has to offer, overseeing green coffee purchasing, roasting, blending, recipe development and coffee education of Starbucks partners (employees). Williams will continue to serve as an advisor to Starbucks and is currently in her second term as chairwoman of the National Coffee Association of America.

About Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance is a leading international conservation organization. Its mission is to protect ecosystems and the people and wildlife that live within them by implementing better business practices for biodiversity conservation and sustainability. Companies, cooperatives, and landowners that participate in Rainforest Alliance programs meet rigorous standards for protecting the environment, wildlife, workers and local communities

About Starbucks Coffee Company

Starbucks Coffee Company is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world, with more than 6,000 retail locations in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim. The Company is committed to offering the highest quality coffee and the Starbucks Experience while conducting its business in ways that produce social, environmental and economic benefits for communities in which it does business. In addition to its retail operations, the Company produces and sells bottled Frappuccino® coffee drinks, Starbucks DoubleShot™ coffee drink, and a line of superpremium ice creams through its joint venture partnerships. The Company's other brands enhance the Starbucks Experience through best-of-class products: Tazo Tea Company offers a line of innovative premium teas, and Hear Music produces and distributes a line of exceptional compact discs.

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It's the way we do business Contributing positively to our communities and environment is so important to Starbucks that it's a guiding principle of our mission statement. We jointly fulfill this commitment with partners (employees), at all levels of the company, by getting involved together to help build stronger communities and conserve natural resources.

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