Starbucks Ethical Behavior

Topics: Ethics, Coffee, Business ethics Pages: 5 (1535 words) Published: April 10, 2013
Business Ethical Behaviour of star bucks

Over the last two decades social corporate responsibility has become an increasingly important factor in the business world. Corporate Social Responsibility is concerned with treating the stakeholders of a company or institution ethically or in a responsible manner. “Ethically or responsible' means treating key stakeholders in a manner deemed acceptable according to international norms “ Hopkins (2011).By social corporate responsibility we mean that businesses and organization that reflect their ethical , legal and social consequences on their management decisions. Business ethics are followed by all organization globally. While some of them are ethically acceptable by society , the other are unethical and not acceptable. Presently the Corporate Social Responsibility is measured by the contribution of an organization towards improving the luxury of people lives. One of the business organization that will be discussed here is the global coffee cafe chain Starbucks. Two of the key issues of Starbucks addressed in this essay are the treatment of the company towards its employees and the treatment towards the coffee growers.

How does Starbucks treats its suppliers?
Starbucks café chain buys most their products directly from farmers at an acceptable market price. The ethics followed by Starbucks in doing business with coffee producers are greatly accepted by society due to their policy of fair trade. Most of their coffee procurement are from developing countries where farmers or coffee producers are underpaid for their produce. Two of the ethical theories that I have selected to analyse Starbucks approach to corporate social responsibility are the Utilitarianism theory and Ethics of rights and justice. This theory is a normative ethical theory that states the morally right course of action that should be taken. Utilitarianism approach focuses on the fact that its course of action brings maximum benefit to everyone. In utilitarianism point of view star bucks influences people globally through its policy of fair trade. Selling Fair trade coffee is considered as ethical as the coffee beans procured by star bucks are bought by paying farmers a fair price . Due to various environmental factors majority of people in the world have now shifted towards being ethical. Anon (2011) states that “Starbucks professes to fulfill its environmental mission statement as well by understanding environmental issues and sharing information with its partners; developing innovative and flexible solutions to bring about change; striving to buy, sell and use environmentally friendly products; recognizing that financial responsibility is essential to the environmental future; instilling environmental responsibility as a corporate value; measuring and monitoring progress for each project; and encouraging all partners to share in the mission. “ Starbucks purchases most of its products from third world countries through means of fair trade and they donate a portion of their profit improving customers perception towards their products. They aim to make their customers aware that they are socially responsible . These actions help them achieve the ‘greatest good’ in utilitarianism approach. The ones who benefit the most are the coffee producers in third world countries. Another business ethics followed by Star bucks are the Ethics of rights and justice. The ethics of rights and justice refer to natural rights and justice. Natural rights are certain basic entitlements that should be respected and protected while justice is referred to fair treatment. In most third world countries the coffee producers are underpaid or not give the fair prices for the coffee grown and are forced to sell at cheap prices. What star bucks does is that it buys the same coffee farmers sell cheaply to others at a price accepted globally ensuring proper justice or fair treatment. It aims at providing...
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