(July 7, 2015)
Tim Scharrer, director of Trading and Operations for Starbucks Coffee Trading Company, and Jose Magno, director-general of East Timor’s Ministry of Health, were on hand in Raimori last month for the official launch of Cooperativa Café Timor’s newest mobile health clinic in East Timor.
The Raimori mobile outreach clinic, launched on June 10 and located in central East Timor’s Letefoho District, is expected to serve an estimated 2,500 patients, local project staff said.
Established in 1994 with support from NCBA CLUSA, Cooperativa Café Timor (CCT) is East Timor’s leading private-sector employer and one of the largest single-source suppliers of certified organic Arabica coffee in the world. The co-op offers its 22,000 member-owners better prices and access to global markets—among them Starbucks.
Cooperativa Café Timor also offers free healthcare to its member-owners and their families. In 2010, through a funding partnership with Starbucks, Cooperativa Café Timor began establishing a network of health clinics to serve remote mountain coffee-growing communities outside the Ministry of Health’s coverage area.
Starbucks, Scharrer said at the launch, is committed to directly supporting coffee farmers in their communities.
Today, CCT operates eight permanently staffed health clinics located throughout the highlands of East Timor. Mobile medical teams from these core clinics visit 23 remote coffee villages on a weekly basis, providing immunizations, nutrition counseling, family planning services, dental care and general medical consultations, along with medications. Covering four of East Timor’s 13 districts, the network is the largest private health provider in the country. Last year, CCT’s Health Division treated its 2 millionth patient.
CCT Member-owners earn approximately $20 million annually from Arabica coffee sales, or about $900 per year—well above the average rural income in East Timor. Because each coffee farm employs an average of two temporary workers, the economic benefits extend to an additional 46,000 families. In addition, CCT employs 450 full-time workers and 3,000 seasonal workers to collect, transport and process coffee.