Greenbean Coffee

Topics: South America, Ethics, Coffee bean Pages: 8 (1735 words) Published: December 7, 2011
GreenBean Coffee Inc. is a leading business entity in the U.S. Coffee Market. The reputation and success have been built on the quality and value of their commodity, employer of choice policies and progressive environmental policies. In an effort to maintain its position in the industry, this company pursued an aggressive marketing strategy involving the establishment of grocery store retailing, neighborhood shops and online marketing and sales, thus making their products easily available through different distribution channels. GreenBean is looking to expand its international operations.

However they have been approach by an international environmental organization (Groovy Planet) with information on one of GreenBean Coffee Inc. suppliers. The accusation presented by the environmental organization can have an adverse effect on the company’s position in the industry.

Organizational Framework


Organizational Values: GreenBean Coffee Inc. thrived on its reputation for quality and value, employer-of-choice practices and progressive environmental policies.


Value Awareness: Even though GreenBean is facing an ‘ethical dilemma’, harm to the environment and people are a direct conflict to their company’s values.


What should GreenBean Coffee Inc. do? This situation required urgent rectification to safeguard GreenBean’s reputation. Despite the possible loss in profits, they should do what is morally right; and align with their company’s values.


The positive ethical behavior (value congruence) by GreenBean will result in early profit losses, however with time their reinforced company’s values will foster choice, growth and development in their efforts in truly becoming global.

1. Is dealing with the toxic pesticide GreenBean’s responsibility?

Based on GreenBean’s perception of the situation arising from Groovy Planet, they are not directly responsible for dealing with the toxic pesticides being used in South America because:-

- The user of the toxic pesticides is not GreenBean, but their suppliers

- Before the coffee beans are purchased from the suppliers, they assume that the beans are washed prior to shipping to the U.S. thus not affecting GreenBean’s customers

- The employees who are affected by being in contact with the beans are not that of GreenBean, but rather, the coffee bean farmers and their employees

However, GreenBean is indirectly contributing to this problem via purchase of coffee beans from the South American producer whose practice is dangerous to the environment and human beings. This is in direct violations of the pillars of trust and ethical behavior that GreenBean is built on.

GreenBean has a reputation for quality and value, is an employer of choice practices and has progressive environmental policies. It is noteworthy to mention that GreenBean imports 100% of their raw beans from South America which indicates that the beans are of high quality and GreenBean is dependent on these beans.

As such, dealing with the toxic pesticides is GreenBean’s responsibility because:-

- GreenBean is faced with an ethical dilemma as to their responsibility for the toxic pesticides. Company’s values determine what they consider to be ethical (i.e. right and wrong). Their mission and values emphasize their commitment to being “good global citizens” treating people fairly and not harming the environment. As such, GreenBean is aware that purchasing coffee beans treated with toxic pesticides is partially their responsibility as it would affect their reputation and go against their mission and values.

- Based on the Utilitarian Theory, the ends should justify the means. Not taking responsibility benefits solely the company but, assuming responsibility and taking control of the situation benefits the South American farmers, their employees and the South American population affected by the polluted water supply....
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