November 29, 2003

Why Buy Starbucks When You Can Have Juan Valdez

POST #    598

100% Columbian coffee.

Remember Juan Valdez, the advertising figure for Columbian coffee? Well, he’s back, and now he’s taking on Starbucks. The Columbian Coffee Federation, the force that was behind Juan, is opening a chain of coffee shops, hoping to take advantage of America’s interest in specialty coffee. The coffee federation is an organization that represents 560,000 coffee growers in Columbia, the 2nd largest producer of coffee after Brazil, trying to get them the maximum value for their coffee beans. Even with “fair-trade” coffee, which tries to guarantee a living wage to the coffee farmer, the growers aren’t making much money (about 68 cents a pound). Starbucks currently buys fair-trade coffee at $1.20 a pound, but by cutting out the middleman, the coffee growers can only benefit.

Who wouldn’t go to this store? Even I would go to this store, and I don’t drink coffee! It hopes that by opening their own stores, they can increase the money per cup returned to the farmer, which is currently around 1cent a cup. In their own stores, they hope to increase the coffee per cup to 4-5 cents. With the profits from the retail stores, the federation plans to increase marketing of the Juan Valdez brand and improve the coffee-growing regions by building roads, schools, health centers and housing. They plan on opening the first shop in New York at 57th and Lexington, with other flagship stores in Boston, Washington, and Seattle. The stores will not be the same as Starbucks, which encourages customers to lounge around, but “a place to get superior coffee, the best coffee in the world.”

- NY Times article: Move Over Starbucks, Juan Valdez Is Coming

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 9:25 PM



viva colombia!

Posted by: audrey at December 1, 2003 5:35 PM

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