According to its own policy (PDF), Starbucks will make fair trade coffee for you, any day of the week, in the 23 countries it is licensed to including: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.K. and the U.S.I think it is a great idea. I tried it out at the Starbucks here in downtown State College yesterday. Here is how it turned out...
But just how easy is it to get a fair trade coffee in a Starbucks in one of those countries?
We aim to find out.
me: Can I have a
barista: Tall coffee? ( gets a small cup and goes to the coffee machine...pauses and returns) What kind of coffee did you want sir?
me: Fair trade coffee please.
barista: (Takes a look at the tags on the coffee machines) We don't have any fair trade brewing right now sir. Would you like a regular one?
me: I was looking for the fair trade. Do you brew it a particular time everyday?
barista: Let me check the schedule. (Goes and checks bunch of papers at the back of the counter). We used to have a monthly schedule but I don't see it here.
me: (Relenting to looks from bunch of people behind me in the line) um... OK, can I have the regular one then?
I am going to try it again when its not so crowded and just to see if a different person behind the counter would react differently.
If you want to read more about fair trade products this site would be a good start. Also this wikipedia page has good information about the fair trade movement.
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