Treating coffee as one of the most important commodity in the international market, due to its influence over biodiversity and natural resources, serves as the link between CI and Starbucks. Starbucks, known for its high quality coffee beverages anchored itself from the supply of high quality coffee grains in the market. On the other hand, CI is more concern on the effects of high demand of full-sunlight coffee in the market which causes deforestations around the globe as various countries concentrates more on producing coffee varieties that needs full sunlight for these coffee’s are the one with the highest yield and value in the market.
Because of this, CI launched the Conservation Coffee Program in Chiapas which aims to preserve and promote shade-grown variety of coffee which will eventually reduces the rate of deforestation on the buffer zone of Chiapas due to planting of full-sunlight specie of coffee (Austin & Reavis, 2004). Moreover, in order for the said project to become more successful, CI would have to make collaboration with a major coffee buyer.
Coffee farmers that produce shade-grown coffee will have an agreement with supplying only one buyer in order for them to be able to market their coffee beans more effectively and efficiently. Starbucks will serve as a bridge in order for the said program to become successful. Starbucks CEO, Schultz, is also known for being enthusiastic when it comes to social cause and this commonality between Starbucks and CI as well as numerous requests from Starbuck’s customers leads to the support of Starbucks on CI’s conservation program in Chiapas.
What basically will happen is that, Starbucks will now start using shade-grown coffee for their beverages in order to minimize the deforestation that is currently happening in Chiapas caused by planting full-sunlight grown coffee which requires cutting of trees to provide more sunlight for these kinds of plants. It’s like shifting the demand from the full-sunlight grown coffees to shade-grown variety of coffee for a social cause pioneered by CI. One the other hand, another international organization makes collaboration with Starbucks and that is Fair Trade Movement.
Fair Trade Movement’s main goals are to establish cooperative that will improve the economic status to small farmers on a given community and to improve farmer’s income through pressuring buyers to pay definitely minimum prices. The said actions of Fair Trade movement provides equal chances for farmers in a given community regardless of their production size of supplying business firms such as Starbucks. Furthermore, Starbucks even make a deal with TransFair that issues certification for roasters and retailers if they really purchased their coffee grains on minimum price on farmer’s cooperatives.
The only difference of Starbucks relationship between CI, Free Trade Movement and TransFair would be the former mainly concerned on the conservation of biodiversity, while the Free Trade Movement is mainly concerned on alleviating economic status of farmers in a certain community through the establishment of cooperative, and TransFair is only concern on issuing certification to coffee roasters and retailers regarding their compliance on patronizing Free Trade coffee as what their customers has been requesting.
By the time Starbucks purchase coffee beans from the said program of Free Trade Movement, the company is making an economic cause, while on the other hand; social cause is derived by Starbucks on making collaboration with CI. As for the TransFair, the only benefit that Starbucks could get would be to show to their customers that the company is supporting Free Trade coffee through certification.
But at the end of the day, Starbucks still able to generate benefit from collaborating into such international organizations through having a sure supply of coffee grains in the market not to mention that they have the chance to closely monitor the quality of the coffee that they will use in making beverages. Moreover, this is a good publicity of the company and might get the sympathy of those people who are environmentally and economically concerned.