Starbucks CSR…?

Hello again to everyone,

I just wanted to write a small post today with regards to Starbucks being a “good” (opposed to bad or ugly) company, in terms of CSR. Last year I watched a documentary on the coffee industry called: Black Gold, which has won international awards in Australia, Brazil and Europe. I found this film to be very impactful because it covers both sides of the coffee story- the production and the consumption. Personally, the film opened my eyes to some of the serious disparity that exists in our world and I encourage you guys to take a look at it.

As Starbucks was being presented in a positive light today the green washing concept quickly came to my mind, and how easily a company can promote its dedication to ethical or environmental behaviour when in reality this promotion isn’t being followed through- or only on a fraction. A perfect example of this is BP, British/Beyond Petroleum, as we discussed in class.

It’s important to note that the Black Gold documentary was made in 2006 so it’s possible that Starbucks has modified its practises since then.

In any case, I think it’s worth a look.


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Posted in corporate sustainability, greenwash
3 comments on “Starbucks CSR…?
  1. estherbaust says:

    Hello Stefanie,

    I was as suprised as you and I’m not sure if they changed something in the last year.
    But I guess they changed nothing because on their german webside are some informations about how much Faire Trade products they use and how much they do for the farmers but all these informations are from the years 2005 and 2006. So this maybe is only a kind of “Greenwash”.

    Some years ago I worked for “Eine Welt-Laden, anders als andere” (“One world-shop, different than others”) and there they only sell real Faire Trade products. If you work there you earn no money it is a kind of voluntary job. So that this shop is able to sponser some education projects in Brazil for example.
    But Starbucks I guess is a company and they are interested in good quality but also high profits, so that they only do as much as they have to do and not as much as they can do.

    Bye Esther

  2. jeremy says:

    Yes Stef, Starbucks has certainly been no ‘angel’ in the past and their record in dealing with coffee farmers in the less developed has attracted a lot of publicity. Have they changed their ways? The ‘jury may still be out’ on that one:

  3. giggey says:

    Haven’t watched the clip, but I can say that Fair Trade is only available to a few operations that work as co-ops. This does nothing for the small coffee farmer that is trying to successfully run their farm on their own. They are still limited to selling their coffee to a limited number of buyers in local towns – they have little power to effect price. They can not access Fair Trade deals unless their sell their farm to a co-op.

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