Starbucks USA plans to double its purchase of Fairtrade Certified coffee to 40 million pounds in 2009. This is part of a new initiative between Starbucks, Transfair USA and Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO) to support small-scale coffee farmers and would make Starbucks the largest purchaser of Fairtrade Certified coffee in the world.

“We strongly believe that by working together, Starbucks and the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International can accomplish so much more for coffee farmers and the coffee industry,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer.

“By doubling our commitment to Fairtrade Certified and scaling up our global partnership, we have a unique opportunity to further reinforce our ongoing efforts to benefit farmers and communities.”

Starbucks also aims to expand its work with Fairtrade farmers, by leveraging Starbucks Farmer Support Centres in Costa Rica and Africa, as well as current investments in programmes that provide farmers access to credit.

Transfair USA and FLO will join Conservation International as key partners in the Starbucks Shared Planet commitment to ethical sourcing.