Submitted by Starbucks Corporation
“Starbucks investment in the Calvert Foundation is an example of an innovative solution to the complex problems facing coffee farmers today,” said Sandra Taylor, senior vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility, Starbucks Coffee Company. “Our involvement in this program supports our comprehensive approach to sustaining coffee-growing communities, and is a ‘win-win’ for farmers, our customers and Starbucks.”
During the growing cycle, farmers often need an infusion of capital to cover essential expenses so their crops can be prepared for the next harvest. Some farmers may turn to local money lenders who often charge exorbitant interest rates that put farmers further in debt. Without reasonable loan rates, farmers may not be able to support their families or farms, and therefore might stop growing coffee or sell it to middlemen on less favorable terms. Because of Starbucks investment in Calvert, more than 10,000 small-scale coffee farmers and their families now have access to affordable credit and therefore have the means to finance their coffee production.
“Timely access to supplier credit is an essential ingredient to the success of Fair Trade, and our collaboration with Starbucks helps us open the way for thousands of small-scale farmers and their families to benefit from better schools, healthcare and social services,” said Shari Berenbach, Executive Director of the Calvert Foundation. “Starbucks has taken a leadership position in corporate social responsibility by demonstrating what a company can do to be a good global citizen. They’ve placed their investment capital, in line with their mission and products, to create sustainable communities for those in need.”
In the coming year, Calvert Community Investments hopes to increase its lending to the Fair Trade coffee sector. With the capital provided by Starbucks, funds were distributed in early 2004 to three Fair Trade coffee cooperatives in Costa Rica, Mexico and Nicaragua, and to Ecologic Enterprise Ventures, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable crop financing to smallholder coffee producer cooperatives in Latin America. Supplier credit is extended one year at a time. Starbucks will earn a two percent return on its investment in Calvert Foundation, with the principal returned in February 2007. The $1 million commitment by Starbucks to Calvert Foundation was announced last year on www.Starbucks.com.
Starbucks and Calvert have worked together domestically for the past three years. In 2001, Starbucks provided $150,000 to help ﬁnance affordable housing and non-proﬁt/small-business facilities in low-income communities across North America. Starbucks investments through Calvert have helped support The Low Income Housing Fund in San Francisco, the Corporation for Open Land in Illinois, and ACCION New York, Inc.
Calvert Community Investments is a pooled investment note offering from Calvert Foundation that channels low-interest fixed rate capital from 1,850 individual and institutional investors to 183 community development and social enterprises globally. Calvert Community Investments is not FDIC insured, is not a mutual fund, and should not be confused with any offerings of Calvert Group, Ltd. Profiles of local impact and program information are available at www.CalvertFoundation.org, or 800-248-0337.
Starbucks Coffee Company is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world, with more than 7,500 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.
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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