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DB RESPONSE #2
DB RESPONSE #2
From the discussion, it is seen that Starbucks is in a difficult position. The business needs to promote fair trade coffee supplies, while retaining the same quality that it has sustained over the years. A fair trade policy is in line with the company’s focus on social responsibility. It should assist Starbucks in ensuring that all stakeholders, in the production processes, receive adequate compensation. Despite the promise held in the policy, fair trade policies do not necessarily mean ethical sourcing of the coffee beans (Cole & Brown, 2014). Despite minimum wages and other requirements, workers often worked under inappropriate conditions. The path presented by Argenti may be potentially successful in the market. By presenting its social responsibility, Starbucks will be able to de-risk the spread of negative knowledge concerning its practices to the market.
On the other hand, the company may gradually roll out its fair-trade coffee blends to the market. This will allow the consumers to adapt to the new product. With the gradual introduction strategy, Starbucks may be able to communicate its fair trade policies while encouraging consumers to embrace the new product. Alternatively, the company may develop its supplier network, within the terms of its fair trade policies. This will involve finding new suppliers who meet the company’s policies. It will also involve the elimination of non-conforming coffee bean farmers, from the supply chain. Through this approach, the company will be able to meet its fair trade commitments, while ensuring that its consumers’ brand preferences are not affected negatively. Promotion of fair trade policies on the supply chain may inhibit the relationship with current coffee bean suppliers (Haight, 2014). They will perceive it as a threat, and try and develop their business elsewhere. This may affect Starbucks’ product in future if such relationships are not strengthened. In conclusion, the fair trade program presents a good opportunity for Starbucks to improve its supply chain. Issues such as ethics need to be solved before the company markets its products as ethical.
Cole, N. L. & Brown, K. (2014). The problem with fair trade coffee. Contexts, 13 (1), pp. 50–55.
Haight, C. (2014). The problem with fair trade coffee (ssir). [online] Retrieved from: http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/the_problem_with_fair_trade_coffee [Accessed: 5 Mar 2014].
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