Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register



Cablegate: Costa Rican Nomination for the Secretary of State's


DE RUEHSJ #1375/01 1672218
O 162218Z JUN 06





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A) STATE 082043 B) STATE 064726

1. Embassy San Jose is pleased to nominate Starbucks for the
Secretary of State's Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) in the

Multinational Enterprise (MNE) category (refs A and B). The goal
of the ACE is to 1) highlight the good works of the winners, and
2) inspire others to follow their example. Few firms have
corporate social responsibility so intertwined with the company's
DNA, and the ability to so widely spread that message. It is
telling that almost half of their one-page "Company Fact Sheet"
( t_Sjeet_Feb06.pdf is
devoted to Corporate Social Responsibility. They also publish a
"Corporate Social Responsibility Annual Report" that describes
the firm's projects in great detail. It can be reviewed at ort.asp. They also
take advantage of their ability to expose hundreds of thousands
of people a day to their corporate responsibility message in more
than 7,300 stores. Post nominates Starbucks specifically for
implementing new purchasing and technology assistance programs
within Costa Rica that have changed the lives of 11,000 local
coffee growers. Both programs demonstrate Starbuck's good
corporate citizenship, responsible environmental stewardship
policies, and commitment to improving the overall technical
capabilities of Costa Rican coffee growers, the company's primary
coffee-producing partner.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

The Starbucks Story

2. Producing coffee beans, the second most valuable commodity in
the world, employs an estimated 25 million people worldwide.
However, the coffee market can be very volatile, often
impoverishing farmers and creating incentives for coffee
suppliers to cut costs at the expense of the environment. During
the 1990s, market trends radically lowered the price companies
were willing to pay farmers, so that in 2003 wholesale coffee
prices were at their lowest levels in 100 years. Starbucks
implemented two main programs to assist farmers hurt by erratic
coffee prices: the Starbucks Coffee Agronomy Company - Farmer
Support Center, located in Costa Rica, and the Coffee and Farmer
Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices. Due to Starbuck's large market
position, the company can play an especially important role in
steering market decisions towards more sustainable purchasing
practices, especially in their primary supplying country, Costa
C.A.F.E. Practices Implemented

3. The C.A.F.E. Practices aim to create a sustainable future for
coffee farmers and their communities. Significantly, they are
the result of a collaborative effort between coffee growers and
Starbucks. In 2001, Starbucks, together with Conservation
International (CI), conducted a two-year pilot project and then
applied their own experience and stakeholder feedback to develop
coffee buying standards. To receive the C.A.F.E. Practices
approval, suppliers must pass a two-part assessment. First, all
coffee farmers and suppliers participating in C.A.F.E. Practices
must meet minimum requirements of coffee quality and economic
transparency. Next, they are scored on critical social,
economic, environmental and quality criteria for growing and
processing coffee. The criteria are rigorous, quantitative,
independently verified, and can be applied to any part of the
coffee supply chain. Finally, the farmers and suppliers that
score high are offered preferred supplier status, long-term
contracts and other economic incentives.
C.A.F.E. Practices Benefit Local Communities, Receive Acclaim
--------------------------------------------- ----------------

4. Implementing C.A.F.E. Practices helps coffee farmers invest
in and sustain their farms for the future. By producing high-
quality coffee, farmers are better positioned to earn more and
have greater economic security, enabling them to invest in their
farms and communities. Starbucks has witnessed farmers who
benefit from C.A.F.E. Practices giving back to their communities
through projects such as health clinics and education programs.
C.A.F.E. Practices have received global recognition, winning the
2005 World Environment Center Gold Medal Award for International
Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development and the
Specialty Coffee Association's 2005 Sustainability Award. Also,
C.A.F.E. Practices resulted in Starbuck's invitation to join the
UN Global Compact in 2004, a voluntary international network of
corporations, UN agencies, trade unions and NGOs that support
worker rights and environmental sustainability. In Costa Rica,
C.A.F.E. Practices served as a model for the government when it
created a national Sustainability Seal for local coffee producers
who use sustainable methods.
Starbucks Educates and Supports Coffee Growers
--------------------------------------------- -

5. The Starbucks coffee Agronomy Center, opened in 2004,

provides coffee growers with local support. The Center houses a
team of experts in quality coffee production and sustainability
practices. This team works closely with coffee farmers and
suppliers in Central America, Mexico and South America, visiting
farms to help build long-term mutually beneficial relationships
and help farmers improve the quality of their coffee while
lessening environmental impact. Starbucks's presence in Costa
Rica allows them to engage directly with local suppliers, gain
ongoing feedback and collaborate on business best practices that
help ensure local farms will be strengthened for the future. In
Costa Rica over 11,000 farmers have been approved under C.A.F.E
Practices program; the majority of these are small holders and
members of a cooperative and all of them have received some sort
of assistance from the Farmer Support Center.

Starbucks Offers Affordable Credit and Looks to Expand Projects
--------------------------------------------- ------------------

6. Starbucks also provides access to affordable credit to Costa
Rican coffee farmers. This policy is invaluable to farmers who
must deal with the uncertainties of the upcoming year's coffee
yield as well as the uncertainties of the world market for
coffee. Affordable credit helps farmers weather the downswings
of the market to they can survive until market upswings, as well
as provides farmers with the ability to borrow money in order to
make technological improvements. Due to the success of the Costa
Rica Agronomy office, Starbucks is currently investigating the
expansion of the Agronomy Center model and further implementation
of C.A.F.E. Practices in other countries to spread sustainable
best practices throughout industry. Since the price of coffee
depends on the worker and environmental standards of other
countries, ensuring C.A.F.E. Practices worldwide benefits Costa
Rican farmers as well.

7. Comment: Post cannot think of another U.S. firm that has
served as a better ambassador in Costa Rica for the values
Americans hold dear. Starbucks has directly transformed the
lives of 11,000 farmers while raising social, environmental, and
technological standards. The ACE would not be Starbucks's first
recognition for the good works they do, the World Environment
Center awarded Starbucks their 2005 World Environment Center Gold
Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable
Development pdf.
For the reasons described above, the Embassy is pleased to
nominate Starbucks for the Secretary's Corporate Service Award in
the Multinational Enterprise (MNE) category.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines

UN News: Aid Access Is Key Priority

Among the key issues facing diplomats is securing the release of a reported 199 Israeli hostages, seized during the Hamas raid. “History is watching,” says Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths. “This war was started by taking those hostages. Of course, there's a history between Palestinian people and the Israeli people, and I'm not denying any of that. But that act alone lit a fire, which can only be put out with the release of those hostages.” More

Save The Children: Four Earthquakes In a Week Leave Thousands Homeless

Families in western Afghanistan are reeling after a fourth earthquake hit Herat Province, crumbling buildings and forcing people to flee once again, with thousands now living in tents exposed to fierce winds and dust storms. The latest 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit 30 km outside of Herat on Sunday, shattering communities still reeling from strong and shallow aftershocks. More

UN News: Nowhere To Go In Gaza

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said some 1.1M people would be expected to leave northern Gaza and that such a movement would be “impossible” without devastating humanitarian consequences and appeals for the order to be rescinded. The WHO joined the call for Israel to rescind the relocation order, which amounted to a “death sentence” for many. More

Access Now: Telecom Blackout In Gaza An Attack On Human Rights

By October 10, reports indicated that fixed-line internet, mobile data, SMS, telephone, and TV networks are all seriously compromised. With significant and increasing damage to the electrical grid, orders by the Israeli Ministry of Energy to stop supplying electricity and the last remaining power station now out of fuel, many are no longer able to charge devices that are essential to communicate and access information. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.