Starbucks Coffee Co. will open its first café in Colombia next year, expanding the company’s longstanding relationship with Latin America and 42-year heritage with Colombian coffee farmers.
After meeting today with Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos, Starbucks Chairman, President and CEO Howard Schultz said, “Our long and proud history of purchasing and roasting Colombian coffee dates back to Starbucks 1971 founding. From our humble start in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, Starbucks has always admired and respected Colombia’s distinguished coffee tradition.”
Starbucks stores in Colombia will be operated through a joint venture between two of Starbucks longest-term business partners in the Latin America region—Alsea and Grupo Nutresa. As Starbucks’ leading licensed partner in Latin America for more than 10 years, the alliance with Alsea covers more than 500 Starbucks stores across Mexico, Argentina and Chile. Alsea started operations in the Colombian market in 2008, and today is operating three brands with a total of 48 locations.
Colcafe, a subsidiary of Grupo Nutresa, Colombia’s leading food company, worked with Starbucks on the Starbucks Via® soluble coffee and continues to be an innovative, strategic partner in manufacturing and now retail.
Starbucks Colombia will open its first store in Bogota in 2014, with more to come throughout major cities over the next five years.
Starbucks isn’t just opening stores in Columbia, however, but also says its expanding its manufacturing relationship with Colcafe to offer Colombian customers locally sourced and roasted espresso, drip and packaged Colombian coffee. Under the new manufacturing agreement, Colcafe will build on the current roasting and manufacturing for Starbucks Via Colombia in their facility in Medellin, Colombia, and become the first roaster in Latin America to roast coffee for Starbucks espresso and packaged coffee.
Carlos Piedrahita, Grupo Nutresa’s CEO said, “We have great pride in being the first Latin American market where Starbucks commits to serving only locally sourced and roasted Colombian coffee.”
For the past 42 years, Starbucks has had a purchasing relationship with Columbian coffee farmers and producers; to strengthen this relationship, the company announced a public-private partnership with USAID to increase Colombian coffee yields and enhance economic opportunities for Colombian farmers. This partnership will enable Starbucks to expand the collaboration with the Colombian Coffee Grower Federation and suppliers and exporters throughout Colombia to provide technical and agronomy support to Colombian farmers through a $1.5 million commitment by both Starbucks and USAID creating a three-year $3 million investment. Starbucks says the investment will enable the Starbucks Farmer Support Center, established in Manizales, Colombia in 2012, to deliver training and agronomy support and positively impact 25,000 farmers throughout the country.