In the Eyes of Starbucks, What is Fair Trade?

Ethical production and trade are prevalent topics in today’s society. However, in the past, major companies have swept their production and trade ethics under the rug, because they know they are not up to par.

Fair Trade by definition is “trade between companies in developed countries and producers in developing countries in which fair prices are paid to the producers” by Oxford Languages. Where fair trade practices are not in place, industrial and agricultural workers in developing countries are often underpaid and overworked, both of which issues are important but often forgotten about from the consumer standpoint. Many consumers overlook the meaning of the term, but with the help of our company Starbucks, we are here to shed some light.

What does a Fair Trade company look like?

A Fair Trade company is very transparent about its trade and business practices. A good example is the popular outdoor clothing and gear company, Patagonia. Patagonia has been introducing fair trade products onto the market since 2014 and is proud to have a big influence on changing workers’ lives for the better.

A good fair trade company also is very passionate about bringing awareness to the working conditions in the developing countries they work with. Patagonia preaches that they pay premiums for Fair Trade Certified products, and that extra money goes directly into a fund for the workers at their factories. This is a practice that needs to be adapted by companies worldwide.

What Fair Trade means to Starbucks

At Starbucks, we now vow to work towards purchasing 100% Fair Trade Certified products from a vetted list of producers by 2020. We have launched our new Fair Trade Starbucks Certified Campaign, which includes a Fair Trade coffee and frappucino option added to our menu, and all 100% of proceeds goes back to our producers that work so tirelessly to deliver our customers a premium product.

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