At a global gathering of Starbucks partners in Seattle and around the world, Starbucks global chief executive officer Laxman Narasimhan announced five initiatives at the first-ever Starbucks Promises Day that underscore the company’s promises to its partners, farmers, customers, communities, shareholders and the environment:

  • 100% of sales of Starbucks Odyssey Blend whole bean coffee in North America will support World Central Kitchen
  • First-ever Global Barista Championships coming in 2025
  • Coffee experience pop-ups will launch in cities around the world
  • Expansion of coffee innovation farms to more coffee-growing countries
  • New reusable Green Apron Cup for all North America partners

On the one-year anniversary of its new mission and promises, Starbucks gathered partners (employees) from across the company for its first-ever Starbucks Promises Day. The event, hosted in-person at the Starbucks Support Center in Seattle and virtually around the world, will be an annual gathering dedicated to Starbucks partners and all those the Starbucks brand influences and uplifts.

Starbucks global chief executive officer Laxman Narasimhan said, “A year ago, we gathered together as partners in this very room to re-found the company and define a shared path forward. And since committing ourselves to these promises a year ago, you have each helped us realize what we can achieve when we’re at our best.”

Narasimhan was joined by partners from across the company to highlight each of the Starbucks promises and show how coffee is woven through these interconnected commitments, guiding Starbucks work at every level of the company.

Partner Promise: Bridge to a Better Future

For the first time in its history, Starbucks announced its Global Barista Championships to connect Starbucks green apron partners around the world in celebration of their coffee passion and expertise. Barista Champions from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and Latin America and the Caribbean will be invited to compete in the inaugural event at Hacienda Alsacia in Costa Rica next year.

“The energy, passion, love, dedication and commitment of the partners who compete in Barista Championships is hard to even begin to express,” said Michelle Burns, executive vice president of Global Coffee and Sustainability for Starbucks. “They are not only about the craft of making the beverages, but also about storytelling and connection. Those who compete are truly the best of the best.”

Customer Promise: Uplift the Everyday

New coffee experience pop-ups will be coming to cities in the U.S. and around the world next year to showcase the possibility of coffee. Customers will be able to enjoy exclusive and unexpected collaborations and experimental coffees from unique origins made with innovative techniques, building on the success of inventive coffees such as Whiskey Barrel Aged Sulawesi.

“When we talk about meeting customers where they are, we really mean it,” Narasimhan said. “Starbucks continues to redefine coffee for the next generation of customers.”

The company also shared plans to explore a new line of limited-release, special-edition coffees and breakthrough collaborations, rooted in passion and curiosity for coffee, culture and sustainability. Its first offering will be Starbucks Milano Duetto, a new whole bean coffee offered in two different roasts.

“Starbucks Milano Duetto represents the duality of day and night, and the distinct tastes of light and dark roasts – Duetto will be one coffee blend, roasted in two distinct ways,” Narasimhan said.

Farmer Promise: Ensure the Future of Coffee for All

To ensure a sustainable future of coffee for farmers and farming communities, Starbucks announced that it will expand its network of coffee innovation farms with four new farms across Africa, Asia and Latin America in the coming years to continue global agronomy innovation. The new farms will enable direct research on varietals and build on the company's existing network of model farms, helping us further our work with farmers to mitigate the impact of climate change on the coffee supply.

“This network of four new farms will enable direct research on varietals and farming practices in different critical coffee-growing geographies around the globe – helping us work with farmers to mitigate the impact of climate change on the coffee supply,” Narasimhan said.

The company will also break ground on its new sustainability learning and innovation lab at Hacienda Alsacia. The lab will serve as a hub for hands-on learning opportunities for Starbucks partners, Arizona State University students, researchers and industry leaders to innovate and scale sustainable solutions for coffee climate adaptation and agricultural economics. The farm will welcome the first cohort of Arizona State University students this December from the College of Global Futures, including Starbucks College Achievement Plan students, to visit and learn about all the ways Starbucks is innovating in agronomy and coffee growing at Hacienda Alsacia.

Community Promise: Contributing Positively

In support of the company’s community promise, Starbucks announced that moving forward, the company will uplift communities through a giveback from purchases of select whole bean coffees each year. Beginning next week, Starbucks will donate 100% of this year’s sales of Starbucks Odyssey Blend whole bean coffee in North America to support World Central Kitchen’s global humanitarian efforts.1 They are the perfect partner for this program’s inaugural year, just as Odyssey Blend is the perfect coffee, originally created to symbolize the future of Starbucks and its focus on people, planet, and craft through the lens of coffee.

World Central Kitchen has been a primary disaster relief partner of The Starbucks Foundation since 2019, and has spearheaded disaster relief efforts delivering food aid to impacted communities around world, from Morocco and Türkiye (Turkey) to Japan and Hawaii. In addition to the whole bean coffee giveback in North America, as part of its year-round Giving Match program, Starbucks will match North American partner donations to World Central Kitchen through the Starbucks Community Champion Portal. Building on their joint $3 million donation with the Starbucks Foundation, Alshaya Group and Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) have also launched a partner donation matching initiative aimed at raising additional funds for food aid in Gaza through World Central Kitchen.

“Efforts like these demonstrate how we can use our scale for global good and highlight how we’re working to bring our promises to life,” Narasimhan said. “It shows that our promises aren’t just words – they are actions.”

1Starbucks will donate 100 percent of the sale price to World Central Kitchen for each unit of Starbucks Odyssey Blend that is sold from participating Starbucks® stores from April 29-June 24, 2024. In Canada, Starbucks will donate 100 percent of the sale price to Myriad Canada for its World Central Kitchen Global Humanitarian Aid Fund.

Environmental Promise: Give More Than We Take

To support its environmental promise, Starbucks is helping reduce waste in stores from single-use cups. Starting in May, all North America support partners and partners at North American company-operated stores will receive a reusable Green Apron Cup to use for their shift beverage. By using for-here ware or a personal cup, partners will further support the company’s goal to reduce waste sent to landfill by 50 percent by 2030.

“Starbucks heard us when we shared that we want more ways to be sustainable at work,” said Florida store manager Kyungae Won. “That’s why this cup is all about making reuse fun and easy.”

Shareholder Promise: Generate Long-term Returns

Narasimhan closed the event by underscoring how each of the promises is interrelated, ensuring mutual success for all.

“As we reflect on what our partners and others have shared today, it shows the countless ways we’re acting on our promises to: bridge to a better future, uplift the everyday, ensure the future of coffee for all, contribute positively and give more than we take,” Narasimhan said. “And when we do these things, we make possible our sixth and final promise: to generate sustainable, long-term returns for our shareholders.”

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