Starbucks said it's also hoping to help with another crisis impacting coffee farmers, this time in Central America, where extraordinarily low coffee prices are hurting smallholder famers. Specifically, the company is committing up to $20 million in emergency relief to subsidize the income of coffee farmers it does business with in Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador until the coffee market self-corrects and prices return to normal levels. Thanks to the relief funds, coffee farmers can effectively sell their coffee for higher prices, which will ultimately allow them to better invest in their coffee pickers and their farms, according to the company.
“A majority of the coffee we purchase comes from smallholder farmers and the coffee crisis in Central America related to low prices cannot be ignored,” Burns said in a separate statement. “We have a role and responsibility in helping smallholder farmers sustain their livelihoods. Their success will help ensure the long-term health of coffee productivity.”
All said, you won't get a free cup of coffee at Starbucks for the annual "food holiday," but at least it's for a good reason.