Drop Slave Labor, Choose Real Fair Trade
Twice in nine months, labor inspectors found slave labor on plantations in Brazil where Starbucks buys coffee. These aren’t just any plantations; these are farms that are “certified” to their C.A.F.E. Practices standards. Starbucks holds up its C.A.F.E. Practices standards as the key to their commitment to source “99% ethical coffee.” But it’s becoming more and more clear: These standards are glossing over a serious problem.
Tell Starbucks to drop slave labor and choose real fair trade
This isn’t the first time that advocates have challenged Starbucks to clean up their supply chains. In fact, the calls have been going on for almost 20 years. But instead of addressing the issue, Starbucks has doubled down on marketing and its top-down corporate social responsibility program. Instead of making real change in their supply chains, Starbucks is trying to rebrand forced labor and slavery-like conditions as “ethical.” But we won’t let them get away with it.
The reality is that there is plenty of coffee from small-scale farmer cooperatives around the world who are ready and waiting to sell their coffee on fair trade contracts. Low market prices mean that these farmers are struggling to make ends meet. Instead of inventing yet another new marketing scheme, Starbucks should use its massive purchasing power to support them.
The choice is clear: Tell Starbucks to drop slave labor and commit to real fair trade.
For more on the crisis in coffee and how corporate social responsibility programs like Starbucks’ C.A.F.E. Practices are just glossing over the issue, see our blog post.