Fair-Trade Coffee Boost: Calvert Foundation Distributes Starbucks Investment Aiding Nearly 25,000 La

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

One Year After Investment: Pre-Financing Used to Make Possible the Sale of Over 22.3 Million Pounds of Coffee, Improve Circumstances for Small Coffee Farmers

One year after the Starbucks Coffee Company invested $1 million to support Latin American coffee farmers, the Calvert Foundation reported today that it so far has “recycled” those funds into $2.7 million worth of loans to coffee cooperatives, benefiting 24,400 of the world’s smallest coffee farmers and supporting them in their efforts to export more than 22.3 million pounds of Fair Trade and shade-grown coffee.

Since the spring of 2004, when Starbucks announced its $1 million investment in the Calvert Foundation to finance coffee farmer cooperatives, Calvert Foundation initially distributed the investment to three coffee cooperatives — located in Costa Rica, Mexico, and Nicaragua — and EcoLogic Finance, Inc., a Massachusetts-based nonprofit. When that financing was repaid by coffee cooperatives, it then was loaned out again by Calvert Foundation to other coffee growers.

Today, Calvert Foundation announced that, based on the success of the first and second round of investments, it is recycling another $650,000 in new investments in Fair Trade coffee cooperatives. The new third round of financing will enable Calvert Foundation to further extend the impact of the capital initially provided by Starbucks, using repaid funds from the first and second rounds to provide financing for coffee-producing cooperatives in Peru and bringing the total amount of recycled financing so far to $2.7 million.

Calvert Foundation Executive Director Shari Berenbach said: “Calvert Foundation is all about helping individuals and institutions make a real difference in the world through the power of investment. That emphasis on results is clearly on display in the $1 million invested in Calvert Foundation by Starbucks. This investment demonstrates the success that we can achieve when corporations and non-profits work together on sustainable strategies that address the needs of those outside the economic mainstream. Calvert Foundation makes available to the public a financial instrument, called a Community Investment Note. This safe and convenient investment instrument makes it possible for investors to channel capital to low-income communities in the US and abroad. By investing with Calvert Foundation, institutions and individuals achieve a real impact that directly benefits people who otherwise might have few hopes — and even fewer opportunities.”
Press release found here.

Source: PRNewswire