Starbucks has made a commitment that by the end of 2009, all espressos sold – both whole bean and espresso-based beverages including Cappuccino and Caffe Latte – in Starbucks stores in the UK and Ireland will become both Starbucks ‘Shared Planet’ and Fairtrade Certified.

The announcement from Starbucks UK and the Fairtrade Foundation aims to reinforce the coffee chain’s support for small-scale coffee farmers. It is part of a broader global commitment with the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO) and its plans to double its global purchases of Fairtrade Certified coffee to 40 million pounds (volume) in 2009.

“Now, by linking our efforts with the global Fairtrade labelling movement, we will be able to have an even larger impact on small farmers particularly with the opening of Starbucks Farmer Support Centers in Ethiopia and Rwanda early next year,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks, chairman, president and ceo.

Harriet Lamb, executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation UK, said: “The partnership between Fairtrade and Starbucks is good news for farmers, good news for coffee lovers and a wake up call to the wider coffee industry.”

Darcy Willson-Rymer, Starbucks, managing director UK & Ireland added that: “Consumers here have high-levels of awareness about ethical issues, in particular, those relating to the sourcing of products.”