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Starbucks Eyes Asia Coffee Plant

SINGAPORE (AP) — Starbucks Coffee Co. said Monday it may build a coffee roasting plant in Asia to replace imports from its Seattle-based plant.

``At a certain point in the growth of our business in each region, a local roasting plant offers us the opportunity to maintain or improve values to consumers,'' said Peter Maslen, president of Starbucks Coffee International.

Maslen said in a statement that Starbucks was looking at several locations, such as the Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan.

If the plan goes through, the plant would become the U.S. coffee chain's first roasting facility in Asia. Besides its Seattle facility, Starbucks has one other roasting plant in London.

Currently, Starbucks purchases coffee beans from all major coffee-growing regions of the world, including Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Latin America, Africa and the Philippines, Maslen said.
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