Starbucks to Sell Colombian Coffee in ... Colombia

Chain has exported country's beans for 42 years
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2013 8:35 AM CDT
Starbucks to Sell Colombian Coffee in ... Colombia
In this Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, photo, a cappuccino sits in a Starbucks store in Atlanta. You may see one of these in Colombia soon.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)

For 42 years, Starbucks has been exporting coffee beans from Colombia; now, it's finally planning to sell the resulting product in the country. Next year, the coffee chain will open its first Colombian store in Bogota, and it intends to have 50 stores in the country—the biggest producer of washed arabica beans on the planet, and Starbucks' No. 1 or No. 2 supplier during the chain's entire history—within five years, Bloomberg reports. "We've had great success in Latin America and it's well overdue for us to open up in Colombia," says CEO Howard Schultz.

Starbucks says it won't undercut Juan Valdez, a Colombian chain owned by farmers, and will instead likely have slightly higher prices, Reuters reports. Meanwhile, the company is also working with USAID: Together, the organizations will contribute $3 million to help the country's small-plot coffee farmers. The program hopes to fight "extreme poverty, which is still a reality for almost all of these small-scale coffee growers that have barely (2.5 acres) of land," says the head of the agency. In other Starbucks-is-everywhere news, the Wall Street Journal reports that, beginning today, Whole Foods will stock Starbucks' Evolution Fresh juices and Evolution Harvest snack bars. (Fact that may surprise: Starbucks is far from the No. 1 coffee brand in America.)

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