May 17, 2016 Opportunity

Starbucks Agronomist Named One of the ‘Most Creative People in Business’

Each year Fast Company compiles a list of 100 business leaders who are shaping the future of business in creative ways.

2016’s collection of creative thinkers includes Carlos Mario Rodriguez, director of Global Agronomy at Starbucks. Rodriguez studied agronomy at the University of Costa Rica, where he worked in the university's molecular biology lab. After that, he worked at the National Biodiversity Institute before leading the countrywide coffee program at Instituto del Café de Costa Rica, or iCafe. He became a Starbucks partner (employee) in 2004 and lives in Costa Rica.

Rodriguez is closely involved with Starbucks Farmer Support Centers. Starbucks currently operates Farmer Support Centers in key coffee producing countries around the world, from Costa Rica to Rwanda. There farmers get free access to the latest findings of our Starbucks agronomists, including new varietals of disease-resistant trees, and advanced soil management techniques.

Related: Why you should care about open-source agronomy

Fast Company described Rodriquez’s contributions to coffee agriculture. Starbucks, which buys hundreds of millions of pounds of coffee in a year, began 2015 with a milestone achievement – 99 percent of Starbucks Coffee supply chain is verified as ethically sourced. Starbucks also announced critical advancements in research and transparency benefiting the entire specialty coffee industry by making a decade of agronomy research available, in collaboration with the Costa Rican Coffee Institute (ICAFE). This research will benefit more than a million coffee farmers and workers around the world and will have a ripple effect on 25 million people around the globe who rely on coffee for their livelihoods.

Prior to joining Starbucks, Rodriguez studied agronomy at the University of Costa Rica, where he worked in the university's molecular biology lab. Soon after, Rodriguez worked at the National Biodiversity Institute before leading the countrywide coffee program at Instituto del Café de Costa Rica, or iCafe.


For more information on this story, contact the Starbucks Newsroom