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Fair Trade Certified Coffee Takes Center Stage as Starbucks "Coffee of the Week" May 3-9

Published 04-29-04

Submitted by Starbucks Corporation

SEATTLE -- In honor of International Fair Trade Week, Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) will feature Fair Trade Blend as "Coffee of the Week" in thousands of Company-operated stores across the United States and Canada from May 3 to 9. The offering will coincide with World Fair Trade Day on May 8, which is being organized by Fair Trade organizations around the world in an effort to bring attention to the issues facing coffee farmers.

"Starbucks and the Fair Trade movement share common goals -- to ensure coffee farmers receive a fair price for their beans and that they can sustain their farms into the future," said Sandra Taylor, senior vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility, Starbucks Coffee Company.

Fair Trade Blend will be brewed as the mild offering in participating Starbucks Company-operated retail stores. Stores involved in the "Coffee of the Week" program are requested to brew Fair Trade Blend during business hours for seven consecutive days. "Coffee of the Week" is a brewed coffee program which helps Starbucks educate customers about its different whole bean offerings. Additionally, in select markets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia where Starbucks is licensed to sell Fair Trade Certified™ coffee, the company will celebrate International Fair Trade Week through brewing, in-store sampling and special events.

"TransFair USA applauds Starbucks decision to feature Fair Trade Certified™ coffee more prominently," said Paul Rice, President and CEO, TransFair USA. "This is an excellent opportunity for Starbucks customers to learn about Fair Trade Certified™ coffee and to help improve the lives of millions of family farmers around the world."

"Students across the country are uniting in support of Fair Trade as the best way to ensure equity for small farmers," said Isaac Grody-Patinkin, national organizer with United Students for Fair Trade. "Starbucks® Fair Trade Coffee of the Week is a wonderful step towards strengthening the relationships among students, producers and business. United Students for Fair Trade looks forward to more Fair Trade Certified™ offerings in the future."

Starbucks and TransFair USA formed an alliance in April 2000 and Starbucks Fair Trade Certified™ coffee was available later that year. A relationship with TransFair Canada was announced in May 2002. Today, Starbucks® Fair Trade Blend is sold by the pound throughout the year in most North America retail stores so that customers may also enjoy the coffee at home. As one of the biggest customers in the Fair Trade movement, Starbucks purchased 2.1 million pounds of Fair Trade Certified™ coffee in 2003 -- approximately twice the amount from the previous year. This represents approximately 10 percent of all Fair Trade coffee that was certified in the United States in 2003. Starbucks Fair Trade Blend is also available to its business accounts such as colleges.

Starbucks seeks equity and fairness with all farmers from whom it purchases coffee. The company wants to help farmers make a profit and sustain their business. Starbucks remains committed to paying premium prices for its coffee. In 2003, Starbucks paid an average price of $1.20 per pound for all of its green (unroasted) coffee, excluding freight -- almost double the commodity market price and near to the Fair Trade "fixed price" of $1.26 per pound.

The company has also begun a program to measure economic, social, and environmental conditions on coffee farms. This new program, known as Coffee and Farmer Equity Practices (CAFE Practices) gives preferred buying status to farms that rank the highest. Third party non-governmental organizations and independent auditors are assisting in implementing the new program.

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.

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Starbucks Corporation

Starbucks Corporation

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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