Consider the role of Starbucks and other large corporations in the global trade network. Since becoming Starbucks Corporation and having just 17 coffee shops in 1987, Starbucks has opened over 8000 locations worldwide, as of the year 2004. In 2000, Starbucks was even built within the walls of Beijing’s Forbidden City, until public pressure convinced the company to relocate. With its position in the global economy, Starbucks has purchasing power when it comes to coffee beans, and thus has a lot of influence in market practices and coffee prices. Next, read more about the joint project between Starbucks and Conservation International called “On Good Grounds” which is taking place in Chiapas, Mexico. Explore this site and read about biodiversity hotspots, the farmers’ lives, the benefits of the canopy, and the economic benefits of the project. Answer the following questions in essay form: •Do coffee growers receive a fair share of the money you pay for your cup of coffee? Why is Starbucks a favorite target of the anti-globalization crowd? •What is Starbucks doing to try to pay fair prices for its coffee? •What are the environmental and economic benefits of the “On Good Grounds” project? Do you believe that Starbucks is doing all it can to benefit farmers and the environment? Or is this project just an advertising stunt? •Are you willing to pay more for a more socially responsible coffee? •Who else needs to get paid in between the coffee grower and you? Do you pay too much? Is the middleman taking more than enough? Read more about coffee growers in general at the following sites: •http://www.globalexchange.org/economy/coffee/ •http://www.globalexchange.org/economy/coffee/starbucks.html •http://www.vanilla.com/html/aware-coffeeroast.html •http://www.postgazette.com/world/20021028coffeeworld2p2.asp •http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/csr.asp
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