Daily life is difficult for the hill-tribes in Northern Thailand. Many farm families are struggling to break out of poverty, and have limited access to education and health care.
For the past year, 10 baht (31 U.S. cents) per cup of sales from hand-crafted beverages at Starbucks Langsuan Community Store have been collected to help coffee farmers. In celebrating its one-year anniversary, the Starbucks community store presented a 1.5 million Baht (almost $50,000 U.S.) donation to the Integrated Tribal Development Program (ITDP).
“Over the past year, the passion and enthusiasm of our partners at the Starbucks community store has helped us build a bridge between our local customers and the farming communities of Northern Thailand,” said Jeff Hansberry, president of Starbucks China and Asia Pacific.
Starbucks Thailand has been supporting the country’s farming for more than 10 years by investing five percent of the Thai sales of Starbucks Muan Jai® blend, sourced from the region, back into local coffee farming communities. The recent donation to ITDP will help build an education facility for several villages.
“The coffee farming communities in the north now are starting to thrive, but there is still further development required," said Mike Mann, Director of ITDP. “We will strive to continue investing to improve the ability of coffee farmers in education, agriculture, and mechanical skills through this learning center. The necessary skills will empower them to grow a better coffee and will help them out of poverty.”
Though every Starbucks connects with its neighborhood, the company has seven community stores that specifically support local revitalization efforts in the areas of education, employment, health, housing and safety.
Other Starbucks Community Stores serve: the Crenshaw Neighborhood in Los Angeles; Harlem in New York City; the East End Neighborhood in Texas; the Central District in Seattle, Washington; and local military communities in San Antonio, Texas and Lakewood, Washington.
Starbucks Langsuan location is the company’s first Community Store outside of the U.S. Its design is a reflection of the region. Housed in a traditional Thai style home, the interior space pays homage to local culture and is inspired by the northern hill tribe farming communities.
“We’ve always believed that our stores serve as gathering places for the community, where friends and family can come to connect,” said Hansberry. “It’s truly inspiring to see our stores extend this spirit of community and connection beyond their walls as we share the stories of Thailand’s coffee farmers with our customers in Langsuan.”
In the photo (from left to right) Punnusorn Khorsanti, district manager; Somchit Vutiputanunt, operation director; Sumonpin Jotikabukkana, marketing and communications director; Murray Darling,managing director; Mike Mann, Director of ITDP; Watcharachai Alanyakorn, store supervisor; Nuttawadee Charoensuk, Starbucks partner.
About Starbucks Coffee Thailand
Starbucks Coffee (Thailand) Co., Ltd. was founded in Thailand in July 1998. Starbucks Coffee (Thailand) now operates 198 retail locations throughout the Kingdom of Thailand. The company is dedicated to making the Starbucks Experience a rewarding part of the day for all its customers in Thailand, while contributing positively to the community through its sponsorship of sustainable coffee production with Thai Hill under the name of Muan Jai® (Thai blended coffee). For further information, please visit http://www.starbucks.co.th