Starbucks, as well as many other coffee retailers, advertise their coffee as being "Fair Trade" certified. Fair Trade grown coffee is *supposed* to mean that the coffee growers were paid directly by the buyers, that workers for the coffee growers were paid minimum wage, and that the growing of the coffee was in accordance with certain environmentally friendly guidelines, among other things.
Starbucks, in advertising that its coffee is "Fair Trade" is, quite simply, lying.
An investigation by the Financial Times revealed that hardly any coffee farmers pay their workers the minimum wage, primarily because they are not being paid the minimum wage themselves. Furthermore, the Financial Times found one Fair Trade licensed farm in Peru to be growing 20% of its coffee illegally by planting on National Park designated area.
So, Starbucks, the bastion of liberal psuedo-intellectuals everywhere, the onus is now on you. Will you, given this new information, continue to brandish the Fair Trade label in order to secure more profit, at the expense of the coffee growers and workers in third world countries? Or will you act as a responsible corporation, and fight for what you advertise so vociferously?
When you walk into a Starbucks next, and see the "Fair Trade" label next to a $5.00 cup of coffee, think of the Peruvian plantation worker, getting paid $3.00 a day. And then think of the greedy Starbucks executives sitting in their boardrooms.
Oh wait!! I thought this was supposed to be a free-market, capitalist, blog? It is! Free-market means FAIR. And exploiting misinformation and lack of regulation in order to get a quick buck is not a capitalist value, and certainly not a value of mine.