Subject: FEER: Starbucks Accolade for Timor Coffee

Far Eastern Economic Review

Issue cover-dated October 21, 2004


Starbucks Accolade for Timor Coffee

East Timor believes that the Starbucks seal of approval will give its key coffee industry a fillip. The world's leading retailer of speciality coffee on October 10 launched its first single-origin coffee from East Timor at Starbucks branches around Australia and New Zealand, a company spokeswoman said. The brand, dubbed Timor Lorosa'e, is expected to eventually go on sale at the firm's more than 8,000 branches worldwide--a first for a single-origin coffee from the fledgling country. The Seattle-based company signed a deal in late September to buy the organically grown Arabica from Café Cooperative Timor, a major exporter representing 20,000 farmers. "We've gone out and achieved international  recognition, and that's good for the future of East Timor's coffee industry," said CCT's senior agricultural adviser Alistair Laird. East Timor Agriculture Minister Estanislau da Silva agreed, telling the REVIEW that the move will increase farmers' incomes and "help to develop this industry, to improve agronomic practices." He said that Starbucks, which has long purchased blends from East Timor, would be paying between $1.26 and $1.41 a pound for the single-origin coffee as a so-called "fair-trade certified" product, adding that this was almost three times more than farmers could currently expect.

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