Starbucks is planning to support the next generation of Colombian coffee farmers by increasing its investments in agronomy and technology training.

The company intends to create new opportunities for coffee-growing communities in the country through a smallholder farmer loan initiative. Starbucks will partner with the Inter-American Developmental Bank (IDB) and contribute $2m to the farmer loan programme.

Starbucks has also expanded its partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to help around 1,000 young coffee farmers in post-conflict zones to build greater resiliency and expertise.

With the new partnerships, the company plans to further advance its work at the Starbucks Farmer Support Center in Manizales, Colombia. This was established in 2012 to provide local farmers with technical assistance and help connect them to trained agronomists.

The new partnership will also further enhance Starbucks C.A.F.E. Practices programme, which was developed with Conservation International more than 15 years ago.

"We support efforts like those that Starbucks is making in Colombia to work with farmers to advance sustainability."

Starbucks ethical sourcing programmes director Kelly Goodejohn said: “While we have always worked with the Colombian coffee community to ensure access to the right tools and information they need to maintain and grow successful businesses, there is a significant opportunity to support the next generation of coffee farmers in new ways.

“By partnering with organisations such as USAID and IDB, as well the Colombian Government and the FNC, we can be even more intentional about ensuring that young men and women get more advanced technology and financial assistance to create a future for their families for generations to come” 

The new initiatives are part of the company's comprehensive approach to ethical sourcing, an open-sourced programme that has been created to support industry efforts to make coffee the world’s first sustainable agricultural product and improve the lives of millions of coffee farmers across the globe.

Colombian Coffee Growers Federation CEO Roberto Vélez said: “We support efforts like those that Starbucks is making in Colombia to work with farmers to advance sustainability, especially in post-conflict areas that need it most.

“Starbucks efforts to work with young farmers complement the work of the FNC and allows us to scale our impact and reach for generations to come.”

Image: Starbucks increases investments to support next generation of Colombian coffee farmers. Photo: courtesy of Starbucks Corporation.