As part of its ongoing efforts to help elevate the coffee industry in China’s Yunnan Province, Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) announced that it has signed an agreement to form a joint-venture company with Ai Ni Group, one of the province’s most established coffee operators and agricultural companies in Yunnan. The joint-venture company, which will be controlled by Starbucks, will purchase and export high-quality arabica Yunnan coffee beans, as well as operate dry mills in the province.
Starbucks and Ai Ni Group join government officials in Kunming to sign joint-venture agreement to bring China's Yunnan coffee to the world. (Photo: Business Wire)John Culver, president, Starbucks China and Asia Pacific, and Liu Minghui, Founder and Chairman, Ai Ni Group, each representing their respective companies, attended the signing ceremony today in Kunming, Yunnan’s provincial capital. Vice Governor Gu Zhaoxi, Yunnan Provincial Government, witnessed the ceremony. “With its uniquely suitable climatic and soil conditions, Yunnan is one of the best regions in the world to grow coffee. With Starbucks leading coffee expertise, local market knowledge of our own Chinese enterprises, like Ai Ni Group, and the significant investments made by the provincial government, the full potential of Yunnan’s coffee industry will be gradually realized,” said Vice Governor Gu Zhaoxi. “The formation of our joint-venture company with Ai Ni Group marks another significant milestone in Starbucks continued efforts to help develop Yunnan’s coffee industry,” said John Culver, president, Starbucks China and Asia Pacific. “The Starbucks China growth story is also about giving back to the local community. Through the Starbucks Yunnan Coffee Project and together with our partner Ai Ni Group, we are committed to help local farmers elevate the quality of the coffee in the region while bringing the best of Yunnan coffee to the rest of China and the world.”