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Starbucks Pays Farmers $20 Million More As Coffee Crisis Deepens


(Bloomberg) — Starbucks Corp. is giving farmers a cushion against the blow of tumbling coffee prices, a move that could also protect supplies of the high-quality beans the company needs.

The world’s largest coffee chain operator paid over 8,000 farmers in Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala a premium totaling $20 million, according to Michelle Burns, senior vice president of global coffee and tea at Starbucks. That’s on top of the regular amounts it pays over futures prices for specialty arabica beans, she said.

With prices falling below production costs in many countries, shielding those who produce the beans the company purchases is especially important for Starbucks.

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