In just two weeks, Starbucks has launched three initiatives, aimed at providing support to local citizens and businesses—two in the U.S. last week, and one yesterday in Japan. The international coffee retailer announced the establishment of the Starbucks CUP Fund (Caring Unites Partners) in Japan, created to help affected partners and employees in the country’s recover after the natural disaster, which shook the country on March 11. According to the press release, CUP will provide partners in need with “cash grants based on their needs and situation.”
Photo: Starbucks’ and Starbucks CUP’s logos
“Our partners remain at the heart of our business. Initiatives like the CUP Fund are part of our core values as a company. As we celebrate our 15th anniversary in Japan, I’m proud to continue our tradition of bringing together people in communities where we do business,” commented Howard Schultz, chairman, president and CEO, Starbucks Coffee Company. He and his wife, Sheri Schultz, also made the inaugural personal contribution of US$1 million to the fund, which already operates in the U.S., Canada, Malaysia and China (it was created back in 1999 by a group of partners).
The fund sources monetary donations from partner contributions and fundraising activities only. “The program empowers partners to help other partners experiencing significant hardship due to catastrophic circumstances beyond their control, including natural disasters,» continues the press release. To support the country’s tsunami recovery effort, The Starbucks Foundation and Starbucks Coffee Japan donated ¥100 million (US$1.2 million) to the Red Cross.
“This type of fund has never existed in Japan before and we are proud to be a part of it,” said Mr. Tokukawa, director, Starbucks CUP Fund Japan. “The grants generated will be allocated to impacted partners starting in December, which will be most helpful during the holiday season. Partners will be able to directly aid their fellow partners in rebuilding their lives after the disaster.”