Starbucks to offer fair trade across Canada

The first Canadian fair trade Starbucks opened last year at SFU Burnaby.

Starbucks’ initiative to serve ethically-sourced coffee has officially expanded. The company announced last Thursday that, beginning in spring 2015, Starbucks Canada will serve fair trade certified espresso at all Canadian university and college locations.

This decision coincides with the anniversary of the fair trade pilot program, which started here at the SFU Starbucks location one year ago.

The company also announced that it will open more locations on Canadian university and college campuses, and will also expand previously existing Starbucks. In the last two years, Starbucks Canada has increased its growth and presence on campuses by 50 per cent.

Starbucks says that it has become increasingly aware over the past few years of the need for ethically sourced coffee and has set a goal for all of its coffee to be certified through Coffee and Farmer Equity (CAFE) Practices. As of 2013, 95 per cent of Starbucks coffee was ethically sourced and had garnered the necessary verifications and certifications.

Rossann Williams, president of Starbucks Canada, said in Thursday’s press release, “We care about coffee farmers. We know many of these people personally and importantly, we know long term success is linked with theirs.”

She went on to say, “Ensuring that all Starbucks coffee is ethically sourced is a priority for us and we are proud to offer students a fair trade espresso.”

After being named “Best Campus of the Year” by Fairtrade Canada just last month, SFU’s leadership in utilizing ethically sourced coffee has led other universities and colleges to become active in serving fair trade coffee. Seven other campuses have joined SFU in a movement to make ethically sourced coffee a standard.

Roger Aube, director of Licensed Stores for Starbucks Canada, said in the same release, “We’re excited to build on the incredible success of the fair trade offering at our store at Simon Fraser University and take it country-wide.”

Mark McLaughlin, SFU director of ancillary services, stated, “We are extremely pleased by Starbucks’ announcement to offer fair trade certified espresso in its cafes on Canadian campuses. Students come to our institutions for an exceptional education, and more and more we find that they also come with hopes of changing the world for the better.”

Although Starbucks will offer fair trade certified espresso at all its locations at Canadian universities and colleges, the company will not offer fair trade certified espresso at off-campus locations, and does not have plans to start.