Starbucks to source premium coffee beans from Tata Coffee

Bangalore, October 18, 2004: Starbucks, the world's largest and leading coffee-café chain with over 8,500 retail locations around the world, has signed an agreement with Tata Coffee Limited for supply of premium coffee beans. This is the first time, Starbucks has decided to buy coffee from India. Tata Coffee Limited, the largest integrated coffee company in Asia is the only producer company to have been chosen. Starbucks would buy coffee beans at a 40 per cent price premium from Tata Coffee.

While signing on suppliers, Starbucks follows very stringent and exacting standards. Quality is not the only criteria. A point system is followed where points are awarded by Starbucks for economic, social and environmental management. Tata Coffee has been a forerunner in the coffee industry in their social welfare, environmental and economic policies, their policies far exceeding the legal minimum standards.

Tata Coffee has been in touch with Starbucks for several months since the visit of Mr Colman Cuff, Green Coffee Trader from Starbucks to India and has met all criteria from soil, water, pest, waste and energy management, forest and biodiversity conservation to workers' welfare, wages and benefits, living conditions, health, safety, etc.

Speaking on the occassion, Mr Hamid Ashraff, managing director - Tata Coffee Limited, said, "Starbucks' deal with Tata Coffee is yet another significant milestone to show how Indian coffee is gaining acceptance in the international market. Tata Coffee as a company is committed to producing the highest quality coffee under world-class standards, which can easily compete with the world's premier coffee-growing countries. This development will only further enhance the reputation of Tata Coffee as a company and Indian coffee as a whole. "

Tata Coffee bagged the Gold Medal for the 'Best Robusta in the World' at Grands Crus de Cafe, Paris. In addition to this medal, Tata Coffee also won the following awards under various categories at the recently held "Flavour of India - Fine Cup Award Cupping Competition 2004" organised by the Coffee Board.
a) Best Arabica from Chikmagalur - Mylemoney Estate
b) Best Arabica from Manjarabad - Ubban Estate
c) Best Arabica from Coorg - Jumboor Estate
d) Best Robusta from Coorg - Cannoncadoo Estate

Tata Coffee Limited

Tata Coffee is Asia's largest integrated coffee conglomerate and produces 10 million kgs of coffee from 7,000 hectares spread over 26 estates across Chickmagalur, Coorg and Hassan districts in Karnataka. Tata Coffee is a serious player and aims to become the Number 2 player in the branded filter coffee segment by selling its entire production in value added form. The company is focusing more on transforming itself into an enterprising and brand-driven FMCG company. .