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Starbucks reveals Colombian-style coffee packaging and supports local farmers

#Starbucks reveals Colombian-style coffee packaging and supports local farmers

Starbucks Colombian coffee new pack surrounded by brown coffee beans.
Image credit: Starbucks.

05 Feb 2024 — Starbucks has unveiled new packaging for its Colombia Nariño Whole Bean Coffee to mark its ten-year anniversary in the Colombian market with business partner Alse. The colorful wrapping pays tribute to Nariño’s volcanic terrain, natural landscapes, vivid blue sky and pre-Colombian symbols that characterize local culture.

“The redesigned packaging for Starbucks ‘Colombia Nariño’ whole bean coffee pays homage to Colombian coffee sourcing and celebrates the rich heritage of the Nariño region. By embracing these elements, Starbucks aims to not only showcase the unique qualities of coffee but also to honor the history of Colombian coffee sourcing,” a Starbucks spokesperson tells Packaging Insights.

A medium-bodied coffee with notes of hazelnut with sweet herbals and a dusted cocoa finish, the Starbucks Colombia Nariño coffee was introduced to the Starbucks portfolio in the early 1990s and released in Colombian stores in 2014.

A person's hand holding hazelnuts.The medium-bodied coffee has notes of hazelnut with sweet herbals and a dusted cocoa finish.“Nariño’s coffee stands out due to a combination of unique factors that contribute to its distinct characteristics, rooted in its exceptional geographical and climatic conditions. In fact, Nariño’s proximity to both the Andes and the Pacific Ocean provides an optimal environment for cultivating high-quality coffee,” says the spokesperson.

“The fertile volcanic soil, a result of the region’s volcanic terrain, provides the coffee plants with essential nutrients, enriching the flavor profile of the beans. This rich soil, coupled with Nariño’s microclimate, characterized by alternating patterns of sun and rainfall, play a crucial role in nurturing the coffee cherries.”

For Cielo Morera, director of Starbucks Colombia, Nariño is one of the “most influential” coffee-growing regions for the Starbucks brand in Colombia.

“Since Starbucks first opened its doors in Colombia in 2014, we have had the privilege of strengthening our commitment to promoting locally-grown coffee, offering 100% Colombian coffee in our handcrafted espresso-based beverages and in a variety of whole bean coffees.”

“Technified” coffee crops
Through its Farmer Support Center located in Manizales, Colombia, Starbucks works alongside Colombian coffee growers to support their well-being and their communities while ensuring a sustainable supply of high-quality coffee, notes the company.

Farmer communities are now embracing technology for more resilient crops that give better yields. For instance, Starbucks and the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) launched a program in 2020 to support Colombian coffee growers in the Starbucks C.A.F.E. Practices Farmer network.

A woman holding a basket with coffee at a plantation.Starbucks Foundation supports various projects in Colombia for improving waste management for women coffee farmers and their families in regions like Nariño and Cauca.“The program involves renovating farms with more resilient coffee tree varieties. As of now, Starbucks has donated a total of 45 million coffee seedlings across Colombia,” the spokesperson tells us.

Moreover, by adopting modern techniques such as the use of improved seeds, the FNC estimates that in 2022, approximately 840,000 hectares of coffee were planted in Colombia by 540,000 families, with 685,000 hectares planted with “technified” young crops (between three to seven years old).

Further, 86% of the coffee area in Colombia is now planted with rust-resistant varieties, compared to 35% in 2010.

Weather batters coffee
Coffee production in Colombia has faced climate change-related challenges for the past few years. In 2021/22, yields were lower than expected, indicating extended rains and cloudiness above normal levels, and rising production costs have reduced Colombia’s productivity, flags FNC.

Further, productivity decreased by 11.6% to 17.1 bags green bean equivalent (GBE) per hectare, with adverse weather conditions and lower fertilization rates being significant contributors.

But USDA’s Colombia: Coffee Annual report says the situation is set to improve in the marketing year 2023/24, with Colombian coffee production increasing by 3% to 11.6 million bags of GBE coffee, driven by improving weather conditions, which have hurt output over the past two years.

 A cloudy sky with sea below.Extended rains and excessive cloudiness have reduced Colombia’s coffee productivity, flags FNC.Weather changes have been impacting coffee inventories in South America for a while now, such as the heavy rain from La Niña weather phenomena that affected coffee crops in Colombia in 2022.

Scientists also recently warned that erratic rain patterns and extreme heat are leading to dwindling pollinator counts, reducing coffee crops.

Meanwhile, Nestlé flags that rising temperatures will reduce the area suitable for growing coffee by up to 50% by 2050, warning that timely action is critical. The company recently launched a weather insurance program in Indonesia that provides financial protection to 800 smallholder coffee farmers against unpredictable weather patterns, such as rainfall and drought, using satellite-based climate data to determine crop impacts.

By Insha Naureen

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