National Coffee Day is upon us. And while all the major chains seem to be getting in on the action—including Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts, Cinnabon, Peet’s, and Canadian favorite Tim Horton’s—there is one heavy hitter that won’t appear on those “where to get free coffee” lists.
Rather than give out free coffees or offer BOGO (“Buy One, Get One Free”) deals, Starbucks is taking a different approach to National Coffee Day. The mega-chain will be doing a massive makeover of its stores across the nation this weekend, replacing menu boards with information about the farmers the company sources its coffee from.
The aim is to inform customers about the challenges these farmers face, including coffee leaf rust and climate change, and the company’s commitment to ethical and sustainably sourced coffee.
Starbucks director of ethical sourcing Kelly Goodejohn said, “We want our customers to know that they can feel good about their Starbucks purchase, which is positively impacting coffee growing communities around the world.”
Ninety-nine percent of Starbucks coffee is ethically sourced, the company says, and Starbucks has committed to planting 100 million trees by 2025. The company is also a founding member of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, which is a coalition of industry and conservation leaders who are working to make coffee a sustainable agricultural product.
But Starbucks hasn’t entirely eschewed the festive spirit. The company is launching a special roast in tandem with National Coffee Day—Single-Origin Guatemala Huehuetenango. The coffee is grown in a mountainous region that had been impacted by coffee leaf rust, but since 2015, Starbucks has been planting one tree for every bag of coffee sold, and this new roast is made from those replenished crops.