Starbucks has purchased a 240-hectare coffee farm in Costa Rica as part of a plan to create a global agronomy research and development center.
The farm, located on the slopes of Poas Volcano, will help develop new techniques on soil management processes, which will ultimately impact the coffee flavors offered in stores, the company said in a statement.
"It opens up an opportunity for Starbucks to innovate with proprietary coffee varietals that can support the development of future blends," said Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz.
The farm purchase is part of the company's $70 million ethical farming program, and promotes the company's effort to ethically source "100 percent of its coffee by 2015," according to Starbucks. The farm will add to the company's first farmer support center, which opened in 2004, also in Costa Rica.
"The opportunity this continued investment brings will ensure the most innovative resources are brought to bear for sustainability and resilience across all farming communities," Conservation International chief executive Peter Seligmanns said in the statement.
Starbucks is purchasing the farm through a subsidiary of Starbucks Coffee Trading Company. The company did not disclose terms of the transaction, which is set to close in May.