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CAFE Practices


C.A.F.E. Practices

3 min


The cornerstone of the Starbucks® ethical sourcing approach to buying coffee is Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices.

C.A.F.E. PRACTICES A Set of Ethical Sourcing Standards

C.A.F.E. Practices was one of the coffee industry’s first set of ethical sourcing standards developed in partnership with Conservation International in 2004.

Since 2015, Starbucks® coffee has been verified as 99% ethically sourced, and we are the largest coffee retailer to achieve this milestone.This verification programme measures farms against quality, economic, social and environmental criteria, all designed to promote transparent, profitable and sustainable coffee growing practices while also protecting the well-being of coffee farmers, their communities and our planet.


Starbucks® suppliers (farmers, producers, and exporters) are required to submit evidence of payments made for green coffee throughout the supply chain, including how much was paid directly to farmers for their coffee.

This ensures we know which farms we purchase from, the names of the farmers, and the price paid to each of them for the coffee.


Starbucks® reached the milestone of 99% ethically sourced coffee in 2015.


Coffee producers need to protect the rights of people working on their farms and must have measures in place that promote a safe, fair and humane work environment.

This includes criteria around wages and benefits, hiring practices, hours of work, use of protective equipment, access to medical care and education.


We only source, roast and sell the highest quality Arabica coffee.


All coffee must pass our standards for high quality, which include a cupping (tasting) process.


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How to taste coffee <p>There’s an art to slowing down and truly tasting your coffee, from its aroma and acidity to its body and flavour. Here’s how to master it.</p> 7 min


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