Starbucks purchasing farm near Volcán Poás to conduct coffee research

Starbucks is purchasing a 240-hectare (593-acre) Costa Rican farm to convert to global agronomy research and development center, the coffee firm said Tuesday. The center also will conduct research on climate change mitigation and long-term crop stability programs.

The center also will conduct research on coffee rust that is affected more than half of the country’s coffee farms.

The Seattle, Washington, firm has been a big buyer of Costa Rica premium coffee.

The coffee farm is on the slopes of Volcán Poás, said the firm, although the exact location was not given. The deal is expected to close in May.

The firm also will be developing coffee variety that can result in new blends, it said.

“The work happening on this farm will enable the company to expand its coffee and farming equity practice, the industry-leading ethical sourcing model developed in partnership with Conservation International which ensures coffee quality while promoting social, environmental and economic standards,” said the firm in a release. Starbucks bought 545 million pounds of coffee in 2012.

Starbucks already has a farmer support center which opened in San Jose, in 2004. The firm also has retail outlets here.

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