Don’t expect to get a free cup of coffee on National Coffee Day at Starbucks this weekend. While the annual celebration of all things java brings plenty of perks to coffee lovers across the country, S-bucks doesn’t on board with a no- or low-cost coffee day promo. Read on to find out the important reason why.

So what’s the deal with not having a deal? Starbucks is totally committed to its coffee-loving consumers—but it’s equally as committed to every person who helps to get those steaming cups of coffee into your hands, too.

Starbucks 2017 holiday cups photographed on Monday, October 23, 2017. (Joshua Trujillo, Starbucks)

“While many give away free coffee on National Coffee Day, Starbucks does not,” a spokesperson for Starbucks told Red Tricycle in an email. “Here’s why: we know the hard work and pride that goes into your cup, starting with the farmers who grow the coffee beans, all the way to the baristas.”

Instead of handing out free cups of coffee, Starbucks celebrates National Coffee Day by recognizing the hard work of its coffee farmers. This year, that celebration comes as a donation of two million coffee seeds to help Puerto Rico rebuild their coffee industry following the devastation of Hurricane Maria last year.

Along with the coffee seed donation, Starbucks and their licensee partner in Puerto Rico, EFI Foundation, are giving World Coffee Research a three-year, $583,000 grant to help improve seed quality and growing practices in Puerto Rico.

Starbucks has also committed to $20 million in emergency relief to Central American coffee farmers who have been impacted by “critically low coffee prices.” Michelle Burns, senior vice president, Global Coffee and Tea, said in a statement, “A majority of the coffee we purchase comes from smallholder farmers and the coffee crisis in Central America related to low prices cannot be ignored. We have a role and responsibility in helping smallholder farmers sustain their livelihoods.”

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Sure, a free cup of joe is a nice perk—but we think Starbucks’ commitment to the coffee industry is just as important way of observing National Coffee Day, too.

—Erica Loop

All photos: Courtesy of Starbucks

 

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