Starbucks Organic Coffee in China

The largest coffee retailer in the world is going to be selling more Starbucks Organic Coffee in China. The company opened its first outlet in China in 1999 and is now in 42 cities in Mainland China. Starbucks plans to triple its presence in China in the next four years. Starbucks prides itself in selling what it calls responsibly grown coffee. With the help of Conservation International Starbucks has developed guidelines to ensure high quality coffee, economic accountability, transparency, social responsibility, and environmental leadership. In this last category it is appropriate to note that fourteen percent of Starbucks coffee passes organic coffee certification. As the largest retailer in the world expands in what could eventually be its largest market it brings ethic of fairness to farmers and protection of the environment with it. According to Starbucks, suppliers must submit evidence of payments throughout the supply chain to assure that a fair share is received by the coffee farmer. Third party overseers verify safe and humane working conditions for coffee farmers and the use of measures to manage waste, conserve water, protect water supply and biodiversity and reduce the use of synthetic chemicals. The growth of Starbucks in China is likely to lead to increasing sales of Starbucks organic coffee and China and an increasing demand for organic coffee from producers around the world.

As the company sells Starbucks organic coffee in China its press releases indicate that roughly eighty-five percent of its coffee comes from approved suppliers and fourteen percent is certified healthy organic coffee. The company buys around 270 pounds of coffee a year. The goal of the Starbucks purchasing strategy is to support small coffee farmers organized into cooperatives in achieving a better standard of living and in developing sustainable growing practices that will in turn serve to preserve that standard of living on the same farms. Growing organic coffee is the most environmentally conscious part of this endeavor. Organic coffee is grown with the most conservation attentive practices and results in the purest coffee product.

Do not expect that Starbucks organic coffee in China will be the end of the story. The company is targeting fast growing economies including Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Australia. Starbucks, which has 17,000 stores in 55 countries, plans to introduce its Via Ready Brew instant coffee this month to South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Australia. Within the next year Starbucks organic coffee in China will be joined by the product with organic coffee antioxidants in Vietnam and India. China is a tea drinking culture with some five thousand years of tea drinking tradition. However, the growth of Starbucks and Starbucks organic coffee in China indicates success in starting a coffee drinking culture in the Chinese mainland. As this coffee drinking culture expands Starbucks hopes to increase sales and profits throughout China and the fast growing economies of Asia. The company is already reporting double digit same store growth in its existing stores in China. If this translates to increased sales throughout Asia Starbucks will have a strong and growing presence in the traditional tea drinking cultures of the world.

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