The Starbucks Foundation and Mercy Corps Join Forces to Uplift Women Coffee Growers in Colombia

  • Through Origin Grants from The Starbucks Foundation, Mercy Corps launches two new projects to promote the leadership and well-being of women coffee growers in Cauca and Nariño.
  • As part of Starbucks Community Promise, The Starbucks Foundation aspires to positively uplift 1 million women and girls in coffee-, tea- and cocoa-growing communities around the world by 2030.

Bogotá, Colombia - In recognition of International Women’s Day, The Starbucks Foundation – together with Mercy Corps – today celebrate the launch of two new projects in the market aimed at highlighting the importance of gender equality and the fundamental role of women coffee growers in local communities.

The projects, locally named Brewing Change and funded through Origin Grants from The Starbucks Foundation, aim to provide learning opportunities to 1,000 women coffee growers in rural Nariño and 2,000 women farmers within the Cauca department. These projects will provide training on gender equality and decision-making, recognizing that despite their substantial contributions to agricultural labor, women frequently lack significant decision-making authority. Additionally, these projects seek to improve the quality of household and community water accessed by people in these Colombian regions and optimize waste management.

“We are very excited to continue creating opportunities that promote women’s leadership and the well-being of women coffee growers in Colombia through The Starbucks Foundation. Every step brings us closer to a more sustainable future of coffee for all,” stated Cielo Morera, director of Starbucks in Colombia.

The Mercy Corps grants are two of the 10 new projects unveiled by The Starbucks Foundation under the Origin Grants program, with an investment of nearly 4 million dollars to support over 19,000 women and girls in Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Guatemala, Indonesia, Peru, Uganda and Vietnam. This initiative is part of The Starbucks Foundation’s goal to positively uplift 1 million women and girls in coffee-, tea-, and cocoa-growing communities by 2030.

“Through our Origin Grants program, we are proud to work with nonprofit organizations across the world to uplift women in coffee-, tea-, and cocoa-growing communities with a goal to create opportunities and ultimately improve lives through the empowerment of women. While we have a responsibility to care for people across the entire coffee supply chain, we know that when we invest in a woman, there are ripple effects and positive outcomes for her family and the larger community,” said Kelly Goodejohn, Starbucks chief social impact officer.  

 Mercy Corps, a global team of more than 6,000 humanitarians working in 40+ countries alongside communities to cope with and adapt to today’s toughest challenges through partnerships, has worked in Colombia since 2006. Mercy Corps is committed to creating global change through local impact – 95% of its team members are from the countries where they work. Its collaboration with The Starbucks Foundation, spanning over two decades, has been instrumental in supporting origin communities worldwide, leaning into expertise and collaboration around our shared vision to strengthen communities.

“For twenty years, Mercy Corps and The Starbucks Foundation have supported coffee- and tea-growing communities around the world. By leaning into our respective expertise and shared vision, we’ve been able to support 1.7 million people, including 730,000 women and girls, in 10 countries. The Foundation’s commitment to listening to the needs of communities and being flexible in their giving has allowed us to co-design comprehensive programs that create sustainable change while keeping community members at the center of all we do,” said Tjada D'Oyen McKenna, CEO of Mercy Corps. “The Starbucks Foundation’s new investments in Mercy Corps’ work in Colombia will support 3,000 women and girls across two regions. Together, we’ll continue breaking down barriers to economic opportunities by leading training on gender equity and decision-making and promoting clean water and sanitation services for female coffee farmers.”

From ‘the first 10 feet’ on the farm to ‘the last 10 feet’ at Starbucks stores, and at key points in between, women have always played a crucial role in the coffee business and its future. As Starbucks celebrates its 10th anniversary of retail presence in Colombia this year, it remains dedicated to uplifting the communities it serves. To learn more about The Starbucks Foundation’s Origin Grants program, visit:

About The Starbucks Foundation

The Starbucks Foundation strengthens humanity by transforming lives across the world, with a focus on enabling community resiliency and prosperity and uplifting communities affected by disaster. Established in 1997, The Starbucks Foundation is a Section 501(c)(3) charitable organization under U.S. law. 

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a global team of more than 6,000 humanitarians working to create a world where everyone can prosper. In more than 40 countries affected by crisis, disaster, poverty and climate change we work alongside communities, local governments, forward-thinking corporations and social entrepreneurs to meet urgent needs and develop long-term solutions to make lasting change possible. Mercy Corps has a total operating budget of over $550M and in 2022 reached over 38 million people.