Starbucks have taken out great big ads in the paper today for the launch of their new Shared Planet coffee. It’s their version of Fairtrade, which is now available on most of their major lines. Credit to them for moving their ethical practices forward, but can anyone else see the irony of this logo?
Shared Planet ™? Surely it is an oxymoron to trademark sharing? You can’t lay corporate claim to the fact that we are co-habitants of planet earth. Or do they just mean sharing on their terms, and their own definition of ‘ethical’?
Still, cynicism aside, good for Starbucks for smartening up their practices, and I’d be interested to hear your views on it – is it good or bad that they’ve done their own thing rather than support Fairtrade? Is Shared Planet meant to be a competitor to Fairtrade? What about Conservation International’s involvement, does that suggest this is more motivated by the green agenda than the Fairtrade movement? Discuss.
You can find out more about Shared Planet ™ here
- The Independent blog has a post up here: Starbucks goes fairtrade-lite
- Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO: “I am proud to introduce our responsibly grown, ethically traded espresso to our customers. This espresso is an example of our commitment to doing business the right way: it is our assurance to customers that they are making a difference every time they enjoy their favourite espresso-based drink in their local Starbucks.”
- Peter Seligman, Conservation International CEO: “By integrating the work of coffee farmers into its overall efforts to combat climate change, Starbucks is addressing head-on one of the most important issues of the day.”
- Sarah Gilbert at walletpop makes a good point, that it depends which way you look. Compare Starbucks with an independent Fairtrade roaster and they could no doubt do more. Compare it to most supermarket coffee brands and Starbucks are suddenly angels.
- Starbucks have recently announced that they are to double their purchase of Fairtrade coffee, the element of this initiative that was missing, in my view.