Ethically Sourced Cocoa

Cocoa is contained in some of our most popular beverages, such as our Caffè Mochas and Mocha Frappuccino® blended coffees.

Just like coffee, our approach to cocoa buying is designed to ensure a long-term supply of high-quality, ethically sourced cocoa while contributing positively to the environment and to cocoa-farming communities. To achieve this, in 2007, we launched a two-year pilot using a set of responsible buying guidelines that we call Cocoa Practices, modeled after our guidelines for ethical coffee sourcing.

What We've Been Doing

The Cocoa Practices program is designed to verify the supply chain for the cocoa beans that will ultimately end up in our beverages and provide valuable sustainability information to producers and purchasers alike. As in the C.A.F.E Practices program, the inspections are performed by independent verifiers that are trained and audited by a third party, Scientific Certification Systems (SCS).

By the end of fiscal 2009, we finished the pilot with very encouraging results. The program is impacting around 12,000 farmers across 24 cooperatives. We are improving their competitiveness by connecting them to the consumer in a way that reduces transaction costs and improves transparency.

What We're Working On

Starbucks continues to collaborate with The World Cocoa Foundation (of which Starbucks is a member), Gates Foundation, and prospective suppliers, to improve farmers’ livelihoods and help drive sustainability at the source.

We're committed to improving the Cocoa Practices Guidelines and increasing our purchases of responsibly grown cocoa. Specifically we plan to:

  • Increase cocoa purchases from verified and approved Cocoa Practices suppliers to 42% in 2010.
  • Update the criteria in Cocoa Practices based on feedback from verifiers, suppliers and the program auditor.
  • Support cocoa-growing communities through the ECHOES Alliance project by contributing £123,213 over three years.
  • Collaborate with the World Cocoa Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support the Cocoa Livelihoods Program in West Africa.