Guest Author - Gayle E. Santana
Many people like to knock Starbucks. We talk about four dollar coffees and the like, however, that is not the only face of Starbucks. We must give credit where credit is due. Starbucks is doing just that, giving credit to the struggling coffee farmers.
Loans for Coffee Farmers
Coffee farming is a labor-intensive business, requiring cash flow through loans before the harvest. The credit crisis is affecting everyone on a global level with banks holding back. Without loans, a collapse of the coffee farming industry could happen. Starbucks has partnered with three other organizations to make the loans available. Selling coffee to Starbucks is not a requirement for obtaining these loans.
Starbucks Red Program
As the (RED) website explains, “(RED) is not a charity. It's a business model designed to create awareness and a sustainable flow of money from the private sector into the Global Fund, to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. Consumers buy (PRODUCT) RED, and at no cost to them, money is sent directly to the Global Fund.”
During the holidays, Starbucks participated in (RED) with featured RED EXCLUSIVE drinks by contributing five cents to the Global Fund. Starbucks continues through 2009 with the (RED) card. Purchase coffee with a Starbucks (RED) card and they will continue to contribute five cents to the Global Fund. Check the website.
A Better Cup
“In March 2006, Starbucks introduced a new disposable cup containing 10% postconsumer recycled content. The journey to this more eco-friendly vessel began ten years ago with an Environmental Defense-Starbucks partnership formed to explore ways to reduce the environmental impacts of serving coffee.”
For the full story on how Starbucks reduced its environmental footprint through the search for a better cup, go to: http://www.edf.org/article.cfm?contentid=3854
Starbucks Calvert Foundation
Starbucks has created the Calvert Foundation. According to their website, Starbucks has invested over one million dollars into community investment notes to support Latin American coffee farmers. The funds, matched by another one million from investors have been loaned in a revolving fashion to coffee growers in Nicaragua, Mexico and Peru as well as a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization called Root Capital.
They also encourage and assist you to donate and invest as well.
So while you may find fault with Starbucks, let’s give credit and shed light on the good things they have done as well. Can they do more? Can't we all?