Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Starbucks Challenge Round 3

Green LA Girl and City Hippy are running the third round of the Starbucks Challenge. Those who have been reading this blog will have seen my postings about the previous rounds of the challenge.

The basic idea behind the challenge is that the Starbucks Corporation has a policy that all its stores should have Fair Trade coffee available, even if it is only as a brew and not in the espresso machine. Fair Trade is important because it helps the coffee growers in the poorest parts of the world, not with charity and hand outs, but by cutting out middlemen and providing a fair price for the coffee beans.

Now the problem is that not all the Starbucks stores do have Fair Trade coffee, so while Starbucks Corp get a lot of good press and marketing from Fair Trade, some stores and the baristas working on the ground don't actually know what Fair Trade is let alone provide it.

It is at this point that the bloggers step in. Green LA Girl and City Hippy have organized a campaign to get people to check how well their local Starbucks does. I've taken the challenge in 3 stores, including the two in Dublin and I'm glad to say they have all passed. Others have not had the same experience.

Now the third round of the challenge has started. This one doesn't even require you to buy a coffee. All they are asking is for people to sign a letter calling on Starbucks to live up to their promises and to make sure their franchises do provide Fair Trade coffee.

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