Starbucks Fair Trade Challenge

October 13, 2005

October is Fair Trade Month 2005, and “GreenLAGirl” has put together a “Starbucks Challenge” to see just how serious your local Starbucks outlet is about their published commitment to produce Fair Trade coffee on demand for anyone who asks for it.

“According to its own policy (PDF), Starbucks will make fair trade coffee for you, any day of the week, in the 23 countries it is licensed to including: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.K. and the U.S.

But just how easy is it to get a fair trade coffee in a Starbucks in one of those countries?

We aim to find out.

Join the challenge:

1) Simply visit your local Starbucks and ask: “Could I get a cup of fair trade coffee?”

2) Tell us what happened next. Was it hard or easy to get a cup? You can see our first posts here.”

Bloggers can report their results by tagging their posts on with the tag “starbuckschallenge”; non-bloggers can find e-mail instructions here.

It sounds like fun, it’s for a worthy cause, and there’s even a prize.

I don’t have a lot of excuses to go into Starbucks anymore, but this seems like a great reason to make an exception. Apparently you’ve got to be rather insistent if it doesn’t happen to be their coffee of the day/week, but if you insist they should offer to make you a cup via French Press, which is liable to be better than their normal drip brew anyway.