Kelly Goodejohn On How Starbucks Ethically Invests in Congolese Coffee

How can for-profit, private companies ensure ethical souring of their products? Kelly Goodejohn, Director of Ethical Sourcing, Global Social Impact & Public Policy for Starbucks addressed this question last week before The US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in a hearing titled “Value Added Through Private Sector Engagement”.

While outlining Starbucks’ policy of 100% ethically sourced coffee, Ms. Goodejohn expanded upon how the company’s partnership with ECI has helped Congolese farmers bring their products to the international market while tripling farmers’ incomes and supporting gender-equality.

ECI is honored to work with Starbucks to help bring Congolese coffee to the world while maintaining the highest of ethical standards for investment in the region. To read Ms. Goodejohn’s full testimony, click here!

“With over 11 years at Starbucks and 20 years working on supply chains, I have seen first-hand the impact that development has on rural communities and I know that Starbucks growth and success in the United States depends on the success of coffee farmers abroad. Coffee is the second most traded commodity after oil and 25 million farmers around the world rely on income generated from growing coffee. Coffee is grown in challenging regions, often with war-torn pasts but we have seen coffee as a stabilizing force that provides prosperity and economic stability.”

“For example, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), we have partnered with USAID and the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI) to help reinvigorate the coffee market in that country. As a result of our partnership, we have helped triple the income of as many as 5,000 Congolese farmers.”

“Our work with Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI) and its Congolese partners, including USAID, aims to make Eastern Congo a reliable source of high quality Arabica coffee, and to link Congolese farmers to the international marketplace. The Starbucks Foundation has also partnered with ECI to support college scholarships for young women studying agriculture and has invested in local Congolese organizations creating jobs for disadvantaged young adults and former child soldiers in coffee-growing communities.”


– Testimony of Kelly Goodejohn before the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations’ hearing on “Value Added Through Private Sector Engagement”, May 4, 2017

« Return to Blog