Now you have another reason to pack a bag of coffee home from Starbucks. For every bag of coffee beans purchased in stores island-wide, the global coffee chain will be donating a coffee tree to a farm in need – coffee for coffee.
Imagine not being able to have a cup of joe to start off that wonderful morning one day. That’s a problem many coffee farmers are facing, no thanks to Coffee Rust. It is caused by a nasty fungus that attaches itself to the underside of tree leaves, killing them, from one tree to another, and another. Before you know it, those lovely cherries giving us a hot brew to last through the day will disappear.
This adds on to another problem these farmers have to worry about. The farms may be full of healthy trees, but most have reached, or are well passed their peak fruitfulness. Sadly, it is not just a matter of replacing the trees. They take up to five years to reach their full production potential. All these factors poses a huge financial impact for the farmers.
Beginning in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador, Starbucks will work with ECOM (their partner in export/delivery of green coffee) to successfully germinate the seedlings and distribute the trees. The Starbucks Farmer Support Centers will then provide on-the-ground agronomy services, making sure that both farmer and trees are on their way to successful harvests year after year.
This goes beyond whether we can have a good cup of Espresso Roast when I need a pick me up. It is their livelihood, their families and a tradition that we are helping to keep alive and strong.
Singapore is the first in Asia Pacific to take part in the chain’s new global initiative, and I could not be more proud! Now, it’s time to pack of bag of beans, whether it is for your own enjoyment, a present for a fellow coffee lover or simply to perk everyone up back at the office, you get to take home the satisfaction of having helping plant a future for a farmer in Central America.
Tip: On top of their usual blends, check out their reserve stores for more exotic coffees. Located at the Fullerton Waterboat House, Resorts World Sentosa, Vivocity, Rochester Park and Capital Tower, these reserve stores will house blends that are limited in quantities (e.g from Micro or Award-Winning Farms), grown in exotic locations and presents an exquisite taste profile. As of late September, they have the Bali Vintage Klasik, Peru Bagua Grande and Kenya Katarina.
For more information on the global initiative, please check out their 1912 Pike blog, a resource dedicated to everything from “what is a coffee tree” to “what is coffee rust”, or the Starbucks website.