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Press Relases May 30, 2001

Shade Grown Mexico Coffee Steps into the Spotlight

Environmentally Friendly Coffee Now Available in More Outlets Nationwide and Overseas

SEATTLE—Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) today unveils Shade Grown Mexico coffee for the third consecutive year through its partnership with Conservation International (CI). This year, Starbucks purchased its largest supply of Shade Grown Mexico coffee to meet increased demand in several added distribution channels. In another exciting move, Starbucks has supplemented the coffee’s re-introduction by adding an interactive online experience to its web site that brings the endangered cloud forest of Chiapas, Mexico—the source of this environmentally friendly coffee—into the homes of consumers.

"Starbucks and CI have made a difference in farmers' lives with the sale of this exceptional coffee," said Orin Smith, Starbucks president and CEO. "By paying a premium price for this shade grown coffee, Starbucks improves the well-being of coffee farmers and encourages them to preserve the forest environment. Inspired by the success of this project through CI's Conservation Coffee™ program, Starbucks will support five additional sites around the world where coffee and conservation can work together."

In addition to the expanded Shade Grown Mexico coffee offering, Starbucks has developed an interactive online experience entitled "On Good Grounds" that brings the unique region of Chiapas, Mexico to life. Internet users everywhere are able to watch, listen and learn about the people and animals that inhabit this magnificent, tropical region rich in biodiversity. The site can be accessed at or linked to directly from or

When visiting the interactive site, people can actually see how CI's Chiapas coffee project is benefiting those farmers who commit themselves to protecting the environment. In just three years, there has been a 220 percent increase in acreage involved in the CI project, and participating cooperatives have received more than $600,000 in financing for their coffee exports. This past year, participating farmers received 65 percent more than the local price for their coffee and are exporting 50 percent more coffee than last year.

"This work in coffee producing regions is making a real difference in the quality of the natural environment within the biodiversity hotspots while raising the standard of living for farmers," said Peter Seligmann, chairman and CEO of CI. "Our partnership with Starbucks is proving that the leaders of the coffee industry can integrate biodiversity conservation into their business, creating a net benefit for the environment and their bottom line."

Shade Grown Mexico coffee is available in Starbucks North American coffeehouses, online at and in the following international markets: the Philippines, Hong Kong, South Korea, Kuwait, Dubai, Lebanon, Qatar and Bahrain. Additionally, Starbucks will soon offer Shade Grown Mexico coffee to current business customers, including Hyatt Hotels, hospitals, restaurants, and college and university campuses across the United States.

Shade Grown Mexico coffee, part of Starbucks "Commitment to Origins" coffee category, is a light- to medium-bodied coffee with tangy acidity and a crisp, refreshing finish. Starbucks commitment is to provide customers with a permanent line of shade grown, organic and/or Fair Trade coffees, which provide long-term benefits to coffee farmers. Depending on customer response, Starbucks hopes to add Shade Grown Mexico coffee to its year-round offerings. Shade Grown Mexico whole bean coffee is certified organic by the Organic Crop Improvement Association in Mexico and is available for $6.75 per half pound ($8.85 Canadian), and $12.95 per pound ($16.95 Canadian). Prices in other international markets vary.

Starbucks whole bean coffee assortment includes more than 20 single-origin offerings and blends from around the world, including many worldwide exclusive coffees: Bella Vista F.W. Tres Rios® Costa Rica, Brazil Ipanema Bourbon™, Colombia Nariño (Supremo)™, and Panama La Florentina™. Three coffee families help customers select their favorites: "Mild & Bright," "Smooth & Balanced," and "Bold & Intense."

About the organizations:
Starbucks Coffee Company is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world. In addition to its retail locations in North America, the United Kingdom, the Pacific Rim and the Middle East, Starbucks sells coffee and tea products through its specialty operations, including its online store at Additionally, Starbucks produces and sells bottled Frappuccino® coffee drink and a line of superpremium ice creams through its joint venture partnerships. The Company's other brands enhance the Starbucks Experience through best-of-class products: Tazo Tea Company offers a line of innovative premium teas, and Hear Music produces and distributes a line of exceptional compact discs.
Jason W. Anderson
Conservation International
[email protected]
(202) 912-1464

Megan Behrbaum
Starbucks Coffee Company
(206) 318-7310
[email protected]

Conservation International (CI) applies innovations in science, economics, policy and community participation to protect the Earth's richest regions of plant and animal diversity in the hotspots, major tropical wilderness areas and key marine ecosystems. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., CI works in almost 40 countries on four continents. For more information about CI's programs, visit

Jason W. Anderson
Media Manager, CELB
[email protected]
(202) 912-1462

Conservation Coffee fact sheet
Conservation Coffee & Hotspots Map

 Photo credits for banner image: (Zebras in Botswana) © CI, Chris Brooks