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1 out of 10 for Starbucks effort

1 out of 10 for Starbucks effort

The move by Starbucks to offer certified fair trade coffee rates a 1 out of 10, according to Trade Aid, New Zealand’s fair trade organisation. Campaigns Manager, Simon Gerathy said it was hard to see the Starbucks launch as anything but a cynical move to appease the thousands who have been demanding that the coffee giant start to pay a fair price for their coffee.

“Starbucks has been promising us for two years that they were really concerned about the issue, and when they finally get around to doing something it appears it is little more than lip service. To offer fair trade coffee as a plunger option only is even less than what is on offer in the US where it is the coffee of the day once a month – which means your cappuccino or latte is made with certified fair trade coffee”, says Gerathy.

Trade Aid has been calling on Starbucks, and other big volume purchasers, to purchase fair trade coffee, which ensures farmers receive better prices. Gerathy says Starbucks are in a position to do much more to help impoverished coffee farmers.

“To see Starbucks General Manager Aasha Murthy implying, on last night’s TV3 news, that they couldn’t purchase enough fair trade coffee is disingenuous. In fact farmers are only selling thirty percent of this year’s harvest at fair trade prices. Having just returned from Nicaragua, where the coffee crisis means children are being pulled out of school and going hungry, it is clear that what is needed is more roasters buying certified fair trade coffee, and plenty is available. If Starbucks want the list of certified fair trade coffee producers I can certainly provide it. The list is as long as your arm, and they know it.

However it is a start and for that we congratulate them, but where is the promotion for a new product line that would normally be expected, and why can’t New Zealanders drink certified fair trade cappuccinnos? All things considered we can only rate the launch a 1 out of 10. It will be up to Starbucks to prove that this is anything more than lip service.”

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