Ethically Sourced Cocoa

Cocoa is contained in some of our most popular beverages.

Just like coffee, our approach to cocoa buying is designed to ensure a long-term supply of high-quality, ethically sourced cocoa while contributing positively to the environment and to cocoa-farming communities. The Cocoa Practices program is a continuous improvement model that rewards the members of the supply chain for increasing scores year over year.

What We've Been Doing

The Cocoa Practices program is designed to verify the supply chain for the cocoa beans that will ultimately end up in our beverages and provide valuable sustainability information to producers and purchasers alike. As in the C.A.F.E Practices program, the inspections are performed by independent verifiers that are trained and audited by the third party, Scientific Certification Systems (SCS).

The results of our Cocoa Practices program in West Africa have been encouraging; we’ve observed significant positive changes in most of the areas we are measuring and identified key areas for improvement. Currently, the program benefits roughly 10,000 farmers across 21 cooperatives, improving their market competitiveness by connecting them to the consumer in a way that reduces transaction costs and improves transparency.

Starbucks Cocoa Practices Guidelines

What We're Working On

We're committed to improving the Cocoa Practices Guidelines and continuing our purchases of responsibly grown cocoa. Specifically, we plan to:

  • Update the criteria in Cocoa Practices based on feedback from verifiers, suppliers and the program auditor.
  • Design a continuous improvement system that encourages the farmers and farmer organizations to improve performance and earn a higher premium.
  • Continue to collaborate with the World Cocoa Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support the Cocoa Livelihoods Program in West Africa.