Starbucks has been a long time partner of ITDP, and has always shown great interest in making sure that their coffee is ethically sourced. They’ve sponsored multiple projects with us that help give back to the farming communities that supply their coffee. Building clinics and schools in these areas are some of their most recent sponsorship programs.
Every year, Starbucks Thailand holds a leadership conference for store managers and executives. This year, the event was held in Chiang Mai. We were pleased to be invited to conduct a coffee production seminar to help educate the managers on the process behind the roasted bean.
We set up stations that demonstrated each step in the production process which included bringing in actual coffee trees, coffee cherries and a pulping machine. The hotel even allowed us to do a live demonstration by pulping some cherry!
This was the first part of our station. We had 6 month seedlings (right), 1 year shrubs (middle) and full grown trees (left)
Our Coffee Team, each wearing the respective dress of their tribal group! From left to right- Boondee, Yobat, and Siriong
Boondee explaining the different stages of coffee plant growth
A live demonstration (in a hotel meeting room) of pulping the coffee cherry!
It’s great to see big companies like Starbucks take initiative in educating their employees to see the story behind the drinks we have all grown to love so much; ahem, that frappuccino or macchiato!
We believe that it’s vital for coffee sellers to understand where their product comes from and the long journey it takes to appear in their store as a final product ready to be brewed.
It’s our hope that learning about the process from bean to cup creates an awareness for the farmers that produce it. This is an important step in realizing that actual people are connected to that coffee. Lives are being affected with every cup and that adds a sense of pride when serving (or drinking) a coffee that can be traced all the way back to the farmer.