• Starbucks operates almost 10,000 coffee shops in over 30 countries, and sells coffee drinks and beans, pastries, and other food items and beverages.
• Starbucks has made some contributions to struggling coffee farmers by increasing its purchases of Fair Trade Certified ™ coffee, but these purchases still comprise only a fraction of the company's sales.
• Starbucks has been criticized regarding fair employment issues and for its use of dairy products containing bovine growth hormone.
• Demand more Fair Trade coffee at Starbucks and visit Go Green to find alternative companies that fully support Fair Trade.
-- Profile Updated 03/28/2011
Based in Seattle, Starbucks operates almost 10,000 coffee shops in over 30 countries. It sells coffee drinks and beans, pastries and other food items and beverages, as well as mugs, coffeemakers, coffee grinders, and storage containers at stores under the name Starbuck's, Seattle's Best Coffee and Torrefazione Italia. The company also sells its beans to more than 4,200 restaurants, businesses, airlines, and hotels. In 2005 the company reported revenues of $6.37 billion and employed 96,700 people.
Tell Starbucks to Support Fair Trade
Send an e-mail to CEO Jim Donald to put the pressure on Starbucks to remove genetically engineered ingredients from their food and dairy products on a worldwide basis, improve working conditions for coffee plantation workers, and brew and seriously promote Fair Trade coffee in all of their cafes.
Global Exchange Starbucks Campaign
The Starbucks Fair Trade Campaign endorsed by Global Exchange and Organic Consumers Association calls on Starbucks to spur market demand for Fair Trade coffee by increasing the percentage of its overall Fair Trade coffee purchases…
The Starbucks Fair Trade Campaign endorsed by Global Exchange and Organic Consumers Association calls on Starbucks to spur market demand for Fair Trade coffee by increasing the percentage of its overall Fair Trade coffee purchases. The campaign urges consumers to demand that Starbucks executives purchase more Fair Trade coffee, and to buy coffee at non-franchise sources until major corporations such as Starbucks change their practices. The campaign also requests that Starbucks offer rBGH-free milk and ban GMOs in its products.
SBI Nevada, Inc. - Las Vegas, NV
- Seattle Coffee Company (Subsidiary) - Seattle, WA
- Starbucks Coffee Company UK Ltd. - London, United Kingdom
Starbucks Coffee Company UK Ltd. - London, United Kingdom
- Starbucks Coffee EMEA BV - Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Starbucks Coffee Trading Company Sarl - Lausanne, Switzerland
- Tazo Tea Company - Portland, OR
- Urban Coffee Opportunities, LLC - Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA 98134 USA
Compare Starbucks to other companies in these industries
Starbucks employees in California recently settled a suit for more than $100 million, alleging that Starbucks misallocated tips in violation of a state law that prohibits managers and supervisors from sharing in employee tips.
-- Los Angles Times, 03/21/2008
In March 2006, tens of thousands workers in export factories surrounding Ho Chi Minh City took part in a wave of massive strikes to protest low pay and poor working conditions. Among the protesters were employees of Danu Vina Corporation, which manufactures stuffed animals to be sold in the U.S. by Hallmark, Disney, and Starbucks. Workers at Danu Vina Corporation earn less than $2 per day.
-- Corporate Watch, 03/01/2006
Source URL: www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=13358
In July 2004, two Starbucks store managers in Florida initiated a lawsuit against the company claiming that they should be eligible for overtime pay. The plaintiffs argue that, as managers, their typical duties are no different from that of regular employees who are entitled to overtime pay for overtime work. However, Starbucks managers are exempt from overtime wages because their pay is based on a fixed salary. Managers in the case claim that the company should amend this policy because the current system takes advantage of employees in managerial positions at Starbucks stores.
-- Puget Sound Business Journal, 01/10/2005
The Starbucks Baristas Union and Global Exchange are pressuring Starbucks to increase the amount of "fair-trade-certified" coffee it purchases from one percent to five percent. The Starbucks Baristas Union was formed in May of 2004 to protest working conditions, which include low wages and difficulty getting health benefits from the company. "We see our struggles for humane wages and working conditions as united," said Daniel Gross, a union spokesperson. "No longer will Starbucks be allowed to run roughshod over its baristas or coffee farmers."
-- Global Exchange, 07/01/2004
Source URL: www.globalexchange.org/update/press/2223.html
The Organic Consumers Association--a Minnesota-based, online, grassroots nonprofit which campaigns for health, justice and sustainablity--claims that Starbucks can make a better effort at purchasing Fair Trade products. "Despite repeated pledges, Starbucks is still buying coffee and chocolate produced under exploitative labour conditions and in the case of cocoa plantations in Africa, workers who are actually slaves." According to Global Exchange, Starbucks buys over 100 million pounds of coffee each year, yet less than one percent is purchased from coffee farmers who are guaranteed a living wage.
-- Scotland on Sunday, 05/04/2003
A 2006 report by the Connecticut-based Container Recycling Institute which is a nonprofit dedicated to increasing recovery and recycling of beverage containers and San Francisco-based nonprofit As You Sow which aims to promote corporate accountability, grades America’s top beverage companies on their efforts to use recycled content, increase recovery and recycling, and reduce the amount of material used in beverage containers. Starbucks earned F’s in every area surveyed except recycled content. The company received a D in that category for incorporating 10 percent post-consumer recycled paper in its hot drink cups. Starbucks scored an F grade overall, with a GPA of 0.3 (on a 4.0 scale).
-- Container Recycling Institute, 10/01/2006
The Green Life, a nonprofit organization based in Boston, MA, that aims to guard against corporate greenwashing and build a sustainable consumer movement, named Starbucks as One of the "Ten Worst Greenwashers of 2003" for "for failing to adhere to its Environmental Mission Statement by slipping from industry leader to laggard on Fair Trade, and for adopting a patchwork approach to sustainability through its 'Commitment to Origins' line of coffees."
-- Green Life, 04/01/2004
Source URL: www.thegreenlifeonline.org/news_4_1_04.html
Starbucks committed in August 2007 to ensure that 100 percent of its milk supply at its American locations will be free of Monsanto’s synthetic bovine growth hormone (rbST) by the end of the year. This commitment has enormous effects and implications as Starbucks buys about 32 million gallons of milk per year.
-- Organic Consumers Association, 08/01/2010
Ethics and Governance
The Ethisphere Institute is a New York City based think tank that annually releases a non-ranked list of “The World’s Most Ethical Companies.” Starbucks has appeared on the list for all four years, in addition to Google, General Electric and 33 other companies. New 2010 additions include Ford Motor Company and Campbell Soup.
-- ABC News, 03/24/2010
Health and Safety
Starbucks won't ban guns in their stores. In some "open carry" states, businesses have the power to refuse guns in their stores, but Starbuck's won't be one of them. According to a statement this month, Starbucks follow states and local laws and have their own system to measure safety in their stores. Read more about this in the Guardian blog.
-- The Guardian (London), 03/01/2010
Starbucks announced in June 2009 that it aims to earn LEED certification on all of its new, company-owned stores starting in 2010. The company has also pledged that 50 percent of each of the store’s energy will come from renewable resources, in addition to be becoming 25 percent more energy efficient. Long term goals also include replacing all of the stores’ incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs as well as transforming its entire cup supply to being reusable or recyclable by 2015. The company is also committed to using local labor and materials in constructing its stores: a recently established Seattle store used scrap leather in the coffee bar’s facade from local shoe and automobile factories as well as wood from fallen trees in the nearby area.
-- Brandweek, 06/01/2009
Health and Safety
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) is investigating the perflourooctanoic acid (PFOA) family of manufacturing chemicals, which are known to contain the potentially hazardous chemical C-8. In July 2003, the Environmental Working Group, a Washington, DC-based environmental organization whose mission is to expose health and environmental threats and to find solutions, asked food chains, including Starbucks, to disclose whether the food packaging products they use contain a chemical coating made of fluorinated telomers, which can break down into PFOA upon ingestion. DuPont, the first manufacturer of Teflon, which is produced with C-8, claims the chemical is not harmful to humans, but it has been found to cause reproductive and developmental problems in laboratory animals. As of October 2003, Starbucks had not replied to EWG inquiries about the contents of its packaging materials.
-- Environmental Working Group, 12/16/2003
Source URL: http://www.ewg.org/node/16595
Ethics and Governance
Ethical Consumer, a leading consumer magazine, ranked brands on 19 different categories in February 2011 and named Starbucks the most unethical café chain in Britain due to its stance on workers’ rights and political activities. The magazine also explained that although Starbucks has sold Fair Trade coffee in all of its UK stores since 2009, the corporation has not phased in this standard in the rest of its stores around the world. Other criticisms included the use of genetically engineered growth hormone in milk in the US, relentless union-busting, blocking Ethiopia’s attempts to improve the livelihoods of its coffee growers and unfairly petitioning US federal judges in cases suing the corporation for sexual harassment. The magazine named AMT the most ethical brand as it uses only Fair Trade coffee and organic milk, and named Costa Coffee, a Rainforest Alliance certified brand, as second.
-- Herald Scotland, 02/28/2011
According to Starbucks, every time a bottle of Ethos Water is purchased, 5 cents is contributed to the Ethos Water Fund, in partnership with the Starbucks Foundation. Ethos Water promotes globally expanding access to clean water and more than $6 million has been granted to the fund. However, the Organic Consumers Association criticizes Starbucks for promoting its eco-friendliness through bottled water, an environmentally destructive product, especially since Ethos does not use recycled plastic in its bottles.
-- Starbucks, 01/24/2011
Christine Drake, a Seattle woman with psychiatric disabilities, is charging Starbucks Coffee Co. with decreasing her hours, berating her in front of customers, and failing to accommodate her special needs before firing her in 2004. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is requesting Starbucks to pay Drake $40,000 in lost wages. Should the case go before a jury, Starbucks could pay up to $300,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.
-- Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 09/01/2006
Despite claims that the company would improve the wages and working conditions of impoverished workers on coffee plantations in Guatemala and elsewhere, Starbucks still refuses to provide human rights monitors with information about where and how the company has made improvements. Critics say that there is little evidence that any improvement programs have been implemented.
-- U.S. Labor Education in the Americas Project, 03/01/2004
Source URL: usleap.org/node/424