Starbucks Sued for Claiming Its Coffee Is ‘100% Ethical’

Starbucks is facing a lawsuit in Washington, D.C., federal court for claiming that their coffee is 100% ethical, despite being supplied by farms with human rights violations in multiple continents. The lawsuit claims that Starbucks knowingly sources tea and coffee from suppliers with documented, severe human rights and labor abuses while claiming in their marketing and on their packaging to be 100 percent ethical. Starbucks sources its products from Kenya, Guatemala, and Brazil, where Guatemala is Central America’s second-largest coffee exporter.

A spokesman for Starbucks denied the allegations in the lawsuit, stating that they are aware of the lawsuit and plan to aggressively defend against the asserted claims that Starbucks has misrepresented its ethical sourcing commitments to customers. The legal action was brought forward by legal advocacy group the National Consumers League.

Starbucks CEO Sally Greenberg said that over the last decade, investigative reporters and government officials have found extreme abuses on farms and co-ops that supply coffee and tea to Starbucks. These abuses range from Brazil, to Guatemala, to Kenya. Starbucks has had every chance to correct its ethical sourcing practices and update its C.A.F.E Practices standards, but it has failed to do so.

The lawsuit is not the first time Starbucks has faced allegations related to its farming partners. In 2020, it was alleged that children as young as eight were picking coffee beans on farms that were suppling Starbucks. A British TV Channel 4 investigation claimed that the children worked around eight hours a day, six days a week in grim conditions with a daily wage little more than the price of a latte.

Starbucks subsequently launched an investigation into the claims and said it had a ‘zero tolerance for child labor anywhere in our supply chain’ and did not purchase from the farms in question during that harvest season. Starbucks has also faced several controversies, including threats to sue Starbucks Workers United, the union that represents employees of the coffee conglomerate, for trademark infringement following the union’s ‘Solidarity with Palestine!’ tweet.

Read More @ MSN

Suggested Reading