Monday, March 25, 2013

Starbucks Buys Her First Coffee Farm

          I've been studying up a lot lately on coffee farmers, and the circumstances of the financial plight they face. It's no secret that farmers receive next to nothing for their harvest. They have no say in the price of their own product. The system is structured so that it's impossible for workers to receive adequate pay, because between the field on which the beans are grown to the counter from which they're eventually sold, they have to go through a heap of greedy middlemen, who take more than their share, often leaving farmers with nothing if not a loss.
          Well, the obvious solution is simple: Remove the middlemen, and deal with farmers directly. Starbucks seems to have taken their first step toward a more transparent system when they purchased their very own coffee farm in the slopes of Poas Volcano, Costa Rica. According to Roast Magazine, Starbucks intends to ethically source all coffee by 2015. Well I guess we'll just see about that, won't we?
          I'm certainly interested to see what happens. Many have questioned Starbucks' integrity in the past, myself included, but maybe I was wrong. That is, if Starbucks carries on purchasing farms in the hopes of rescuing them from the current system. Because if everything is direct, there will be no room for money to fall between the cracks, into the hands of the wrong people.
           I hope others follow Starbucks' example and invest in their own farms--work toward a fair, transparent and efficient system, not to mention know their growers personally. I'm proud of Starbucks--looks like they're really stepping it up...? I mean, either that or slowly colonizing earth. Soon they'll take over outer space, and make Star Bucks the universal currency or something.

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