Starbucks, Tata Coffee open roasting plant in Karnataka

Starbucks, Tata Coffee open roasting plant in Karnataka New Delhi: US-based Starbucks Coffee Company and its Indian partner Tata Coffee on Friday inaugurated a roasting and packaging plant in Karnataka that will cater to the domestic as well as select overseas markets in future.

"In a key partnership milestone between Starbucks Coffee Company and Tata Coffee Ltd, the two companies today inaugurated a roasting and packaging plant in Kushalnagar in Coorg, Karnataka," the two firms said in a joint statement.

This facility will enable roasting and packaging of green coffee beans for Starbucks stores in India and select markets around the globe in future, it added.

Commenting on the development, Starbucks Coffee President (China and Asia Pacific) John Culver said: "This deepens our sourcing relationship with India's coffee farmers and further demonstrates our long-term commitment to sourcing high quality arabica coffee."

The facility is spread across 8,258 sq ft and has an installed production capacity of 375 MT. The plant has three major sections - green coffee storage and handling, roasting, and packing and dispatch.

"The plant leverages our combined strengths and passion for sharing the finest quality coffees with customers. This momentous occasion signifies a milestone development in our relationship with Starbucks as we roast and package our locally sourced espresso roast and prepare to export roasted and packaged coffees to select markets," Tata Coffee Managing Director Hameed Huq said.

Earlier this week, Starbucks had said India will become one of its top five global markets in the long-term and will continue to expand aggressively here. It did not share any timeframe to achieve this target.

The company, which missed its target of opening 50 outlets in the country by 2012 at an investment of Rs 400 crore, however, remained non-committal on by when it would be able reach the milestone.

Tata Starbucks, the global coffee giant's equal joint venture with Tata Global Beverages for the Indian market, has opened its 7th outlet in the country at Connaught Place here.

The JV had opened its first outlet in India in October 2012 in Mumbai, where it currently has four cafes. Last month, Tata Starbucks opened two more outlets at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here.

PTI