The availability of Starbucks Rwanda Gakenke Fair Trade Certified coffee should bring a smile to the face of the ethically conscious consumer, but if the customer can't access fair trade alternatives then how are they expected to consume in a more ethical manner?
As one of the most successful coffee retailers in the world, it's surprising how slowly Starbucks' sustainability program is dripping down to street level. And by advancing Fair Trade in their community, high-end, premium brand promotion would seem to be a logical step in the equation. However, my experiences attempting to invest in an "haute couture" brew from the Seattle-based house has proven quite the opposite.
Excluding the first occasion (an interaction likely confounded by over enthusiasm and heightened by the novelty of fresh experience), investing in Fair Trade at Starbucks has posed to be more of a headache than a heartquench for me.
Not commonly brewed and to still appropriated the official Fair Trade Certified stamp of approval, Starbucks machines must be cleaned before fair trade beans can be ground in them. If that doesn't already deter you, this might. Not commonly brewed, it takes longer to serve you Fair Trade at Starbucks because it requires using a french press.The List goes on... Not commonly brewed, Fair Trade coffee is highly delicious, carefully harvested, and comes from some of the most exotic and ferile soils of the earth. Highly worth the investment.
I see this as unfortunate. If baristas we're encouraged to push Fair Trade in Starbucks cafés in North America, they'd probably make more money and would definitely doing something for the greater good of the world. I anticipate this is the process of transition, but in the mean time, have a look at the Fair Trade coffee we supply you below, and tell us about your Fair Trade experiences in comments.