Tata Coffee ropes in Starbucks

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Mumbai, Jan 13 (PTI) Tata Coffee today roped in theiconic coffee chain Starbucks to jointly source and roast thebeans from its plantations, which in turn would pave the wayfor the American coffee brand to enter the domestic market sixmonths down the line, finally.

"This is a non-binding, strategic agreement between usand Starbucks Coffee Company for regional cooperation, anddoes not involve a joint venture arrangement. The Americanfirm is also free to contract others for beans. The MoUinvolves joint sourcing and roasting of the world-classcoffee beans from our Coorg (Karnataka) plantations," TataCoffee chairman RK Krishna Kumar told PTI. Tata Coffee''s greencoffee beans from its Coorg plantations are known forhigh-quality and aroma.

The MoU was signed by the Tata Group chairman RatanTata and Starbucks officials here today.

It can be noted that the Seattle-based Starbucks,which is the world''s largest and the most iconic coffee chain,has been planning to enter the domestic market for the pastfive years. The agreement with Tata Coffee will enable it tonow speed up its retail plans in the country.

As to associating with Starbucks in its retail foray,which Kumar expects to happen within the next six-sevenmonths, he said, "we have not taken any call on that and havenot thought about any tie-up too. But we are not averse to theidea. Finding the right location is the biggest problem forStarbucks." .

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