Starbucks Coffee Company

Starbuck’s mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.

According to Forbes, Starbucks is one of the world’s most ethical companies (and for 6x running).  Looking more into company, it is clear that Starbucks is making efforts to conduct business in an ethical manner, from the sourcing of its products, to the environment, and to each individual store.  

Starbucks strives to live by their mission statement every day.  They do so through their coffees, their partners, their customers, their stores, their neighborhoods, and their shareholders.  Fore more information, click here.

This mission statement encompasses every single player in their business.  Not only do they look to improve the lives of those who interact with Starbucks here in the United States, but they also strive to improve all aspects of the lives of their suppliers.

Starbucks lives out their mission by creating various programs that ensure various standards for those who are involved.  For example, they have created loan programs for coffee-growing communities, cocoa practices programs, the CHAI project, along with many more.  Below are various quotes from the company website regarding their programs:

  • “Our long-term success is linked to the success of the thousands of farmers who grow our coffee. That’s why we invest in loan programs for coffee-growing communities and work onsite with farmers to help improve coffee quality. It’s not just the right thing to do. It’s the right thing to do for our business. By helping to sustain coffee farmers and strengthen farming communities, we ensure a healthy supply of high-quality coffee going forward.”
  • “We take a holistic approach to the ethnically sourcing coffee through responsible purchasing practices, farmer loans and forest conservation programs.”
  • “The results of our Cocoa Practices program in West Africa have been encouraging; we’ve observed significant positive changes in most of the areas we are measuring and identified key areas for improvement. Currently, the program benefits roughly 10,000 farmers across 21 cooperatives, improving their market competitiveness by connecting them to the consumer in a way that reduces transaction costs and improves transparency.”
  • “In the past two years alone, the CHAI project has helped improve standards of living for more than 28,000 residents in the Darjeeling and Assam regions of India and Alta Verapaz in Guatemala.”

After learning more about Starbucks and their practices, it makes me rethink their high prices.  Maybe if more people knew of Starbucks efforts to be an ethical business, then they wouldn’t have as much of an issue paying $5.00+ for a drink.  It will be interesting to look at Starbucks competitors, such as Dunkin’ Donuts, to see if they are as ethically focused.


5 thoughts on “Starbucks Coffee Company

  1. In my opinion, one of the programs that makes Starbucks stand out as a company is the benefits packages employees get. Any employee that works more than 20 hours a week is entitled to coverages. I read in the book “Ethical Decision Making and Cases” that at one point benefits were costing the company more than importing the coffee. Starbucks really is dedicated to helping and retaining their employees.

  2. I agree that people often justify high prices for ethical companies. Think about Tom’s Shoes. For a pair of canvas slip-ons, consumers will pay upwards of $40 knowing that their purchase will also provide a pair of shoes for a child living in an underprivileged environment.

  3. I’ve heard that people consider Starbucks to be the Walmart of coffee shops in that they are EVERYWHERE and tend to put local shops out of business (the comparison does not relate to treatment of employees). It is interesting to consider the true extent of Starbucks’ stakeholder values. Such a great topic to debunk the myth of Starbucks overpricing there coffee to no benefit of their stakeholders.

  4. It will be very interesting to explore the ins-and-outs of Starbucks. As other people have commented on, I think people are definitely willing to pay a premium for something they believe had ethical origins. Any comparison to Dunkin’ Donuts would be awesome too.

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