Starbucks partnering with Arla on sustainable sourcing

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Dairy emissions account for 22% of Starbucks global carbon emissions. Pic: Starbucks
Dairy emissions account for 22% of Starbucks global carbon emissions. Pic: Starbucks

Related tags Cream Starbucks Arla Arla foods Sustainability

With dairy emissions accounting for 22% of Starbucks global carbon emissions, the coffee chain has partnered with dairy cooperative Arla Foods to work on a three-year pilot to create a sustainable sourcing blueprint. This blueprint will go on to support its dairy suppliers across Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The pilot will see Starbucks work directly with 14 Arla farmers in the UK to identify new farming practices and methods to significantly reduce the emissions associated with dairy production.

Starbucks and the selected Arla farmers will focus on three key areas: environmental stewardship, animal health and welfare, and ensuring profitability for the farmers through the Arla UK 360 farm standards program.

The sourcing blueprint will be underscored by Arla’s sustainability research and development work, and independently validated by a third party, who will help support and advise on developing industry best practices.

Alex Rayner, general manager at Starbucks UK, said: “This partnership with Arla and the dairy farming community underpins our commitment to produce high quality and responsibly sourced products.

“Starbucks and Arla share a commitment to upholding the highest standards in agriculture. As a farmer-owned business, Arla’s approach – including their cooperative principles – make them the right partner for us.

“Purchasing sustainable dairy is integral to our work expanding our environmentally friendly menu options, while enhancing the Starbucks Experience. Customizing beverages has and always will be at the heart of Starbucks, and this program will help ensure that best practice carbon reduction strategies are being implemented across our entire milk and dairy alternative selection."

Graham Wilkinson, group senior agriculture director at Arla Foods, said, “It is a huge testament to the sustainable farming practice of our owners that Starbucks has chosen Arla to support its sustainable sourcing development work. Our carbon net zero ambition recognizes the importance of both lowering emissions and providing a helping hand to nature, but it is hugely important that Starbucks has also acknowledged the importance of taking a farmer first approach to deliver this.

“I hope it also provides reassurance to Starbucks customers to know that behind every cup is a combined effort to support farmers to run profitable and sustainable dairy farms.”

Starbucks will also be working with scientists from The Nature Conservancy, a global, and environmental stewardship non-profit, which will support the partnership.

Starbucks said it is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 globally and become a resource positive company. Arla is targeting reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% per kilo of milk over the next decade and to reach carbon net zero by 2050.

In 2020, Starbucks set a goal of being a resource positive company, storing more carbon than it emits, eliminating waste, and providing more clean water than it uses. Its 2030 goals include: A 50% reduction in carbon emissions; 50% reduction of water withdrawal through conservation or replenishment of water used for direct operations, stores, packaging and agricultural supply; and 50% reduction in waste sent to landfills.

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