A call for fair trade, not a pricey brewing system

by Sydney Jordan, University student

Instead of âÄúupgradingâÄù their current brewing system, Starbucks should commit itself to fair trade. Fair trade is a market-based approach to global development that aims to help producers in developing countries obtain better trading conditions.
The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as for higher social and environmental standards. Fairly traded coffee makes up a tiny percent of StarbucksâÄô overall product.
StarbucksâÄô mission statement is to inspire and nurture the human spirit âÄî one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. Starbucks is failing to nurture the human spirit of their coffee producers when they do not buy fair trade.
In 2010, coffee farmers in Ethiopia were paid, on average, 24 cents per pound of coffee while consumers at Minnesota Starbucks shops paid roughly $3.60 per pound. The Minnesota Daily reported that Starbucks will raise their price of coffee by as much as 50 cents to $1.50 per cup to reflect the changes in their brewing system.
For less money, we can choose to support establishments that serve fairly traded products. Start choosing fair trade and encourage Starbucks to do the same.