Starbucks Goes Sustainable
Starbucks has taken a big step in the right direction towards improved sustainability in the coffee sector by issuing a $1bn sustainability bond. Nice work, Starbucks!
This ranks as its third, but largest such bond to date, with the proceeds going towards supporting the purchase of ethically sourced coffee, farmer support programmes and the development of eco-friendly stores.
Coffee farmers have been feeling the pinch of climate change with many traditionally coffee-rich areas yielding weaker crops year on year, threatening to eradicate some of our beloved coffee species entirely. Moreover, with coffee futures stuck in a rut near a 13-year low, many producers are struggling to even turn a profit.
This has driven organisations and governments to research sustainable alternatives, such as the ones forwarded by Starbucks to help bolster the industry. Its Global Farmer Fund assists in providing capital to coffee communities in Latin America, Africa and Asia in the form of low interest loans that help replace old, less productive trees, buy improved equipment and increase crop yields and quality.
Coffee prices are down 31.78% on a 52-week basis and may continue to see more downside if the global coffee supply glut continues. Let’s hope for the farmers’ sake that more coffee companies follow Starbucks’ example to drive more sustainable practices before we lose some of our favourite brews!
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