Monday, December 12, 2005

Starbucks and Fair Trade.

Starbucks factsheet for fair trade activists

Posted by greenLAgirl in coffee, fairtrade, starbucks challenge (December 9, 2005 at 11:00 pm)

Since we have a lot of new people joining in the Starbucks Challenge, I've put together a factsheet of sorts about Starbucks' current fair trade policies to help de-confuse new activists. This'll be updated as more news develops and/or I remember more stuff that should be included.

Starbucks factsheet for fair trade activists

Starbucks sells one, and only one, fair trade certified coffee blend in stores. That blend's called Cafe Estima , and it debuted Summer 2005. The old fair trade certified blend, creatively named "Fair Trade Blend," has been phased out — although Starbucks still hasn't taken the blend off its website.

Starbucks' policy states that any of their company-owned stores will French-press a cup of fair trade coffee for anyone who asks for a cup of fair trade. This promise, however, isn't being carried out in many stores, especially in the US. Thus, the Starbucks Challenge. Got a specific question about the Starbucks Challenge? Read the Challenge FAQ.

Starbucks no longer brews fair trade coffee on the 20th of each month, at least according to headquarters. This program was phased out earlier this year, long before the Starbucks Challenge began. The reason: Starbucks used to do "Coffee of the Day, but they switched over to " Coffee of the Week." Thus, instead of brewing fair trade coffee on the 20th of each month –

Starbucks brews fair trade coffee as the "Coffee of the Week" at least 4 times a year. Technically, fair trade will be brewed more days (7 days x 4 weeks = 28 days, vs. 12 days in the previous program), which is a nice bonus. The downside is that if activists wanted to patronize Starbucks ONLY when the mermaid had fair trade coffee on brew to send a message to the company, it's a lot more difficult to figure out when that would be. Before, you could just drop in on the 20th. Now, you have to keep tabs on the " Coffee of the Week" page on Starbucks' website to get a heads-up on what's brewing. Or you can just add green LA girl to your bookmarks or fave blog reader, and I'll let you know ;)

According to Starbucks, 1.6% of its coffee is fair trade certified. Compare that to the 5% recommendation of TransFair USA, the company that certifies fair trade products in the US. That 1.6%, however, is still about a quarter of all the fair trade certified coffee coming into the US. That gives you a sense of how huge Starbucks is, like it or not.

comments [permalink]


Blogger Siel said...

Thanks for joining in -- and hope you'll take some challenges yourself!!

December 12, 2005 10:34 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home