Starbucks, the leading specialty coffee company in the world, has developed a strategic alliance with Conservation International, the major international environmental nonprofit organization. Aim of the Union is to promote coffee-growing practices of small farms that protect endangered habitats. Cooperation left the corporate social responsibility of the company and its policies coffee procurement strategy. The original project was in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, and the inclusion shade-grown coffee in the product line Starbucks, providing an attractive alternative market for farmer cooperatives at a time when coffee producers were in economic crisis due to falling world prices. At the same time, the company had to deal with increasing pressure from non-profit organizations in the Fair Trade movement, demanding higher prices for farmers. Starbucks is studying the future of its alliance with Conservation International and its new coffee procurement guidelines aimed at promoting environmentally, socially and economically sustainable coffee production. Nature of the industry puts the case in a global context, both the supply and demand.
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by James E. Austin, Cate Reavis Source: HBS Premier Case Collection 28 pages. Publication Date: 02 Oct 2002. Prod. #: 303055-PDF-ENG