Get instant access to this case solution for only $15

Starbucks and Conservation International Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
2444 1326 Words (6 Pages) James E. Austin, Cate Reavis Harvard Business School : 303055
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

Starbucks established itself as a leading coffee chain, but it was faced with the challenge of having a positive environmental impact that would be in line with its environmental goals and would help it in meeting its customer expectations. Coffee plantations were resulting in a high level of deforestation which is an unsustainable way forward. Starbucks, therefore entered into an agreement with CI in managing its Chiapas coffee project to promote shade grown coffee. The agreement was a success as CI would train the local farmers to produce shade grown coffee of a higher quality while Starbucks would test the coffee against its standards and enter into the contracts with the farmers which resulted in the growth of their livelihood and economic development of the regions as well as eliminated the need for deforestation. Going forward, Starbucks started facing pressure from Fair Trade organizations to increase the coffee price it charges to its farmers. While Starbucks was willing to collaborate, the demand was unilateral and Starbucks was forced to give in. As Fair Trade and Trans Fair did not account for the interests of Starbucks and pressurized it to buy larger quantities of coffee without accounting much for the quality, Starbucks would at times resist which resulted in negative criticism for the company and further protests from such organizations. However, Starbucks was faced with coming up with a strategy that would allow it to tackle with NGOs like Fair Trade and Trans fair in a reasonable manner to avoid protests and sustainable growth of the company in the long run. 

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. What is the rationale for Starbuck's collaboration with Conservation International on the Chiapas coffee project in Mexico? 

  2. What are the key success factors to the Starbucks - Conservation International partnership? 

  3. How does Starbuck's relationship with Conservation International compare to that of its relationship with the Fair Trade Movement organizations Global ExchangeTransFair? In that regard, do the criticisms against Starbucks make sense to you?

Case Analysis for Starbucks and Conservation International

1. What is the rationale for Starbuck's collaboration with Conservation International on the Chiapas coffee project in Mexico?

Starbucks aimed at collaborating with Conservation International on the Chiapas Coffee project in Mexico as most of its customers wanted it to consider buying shade grown coffee to prevent deforestation in different areas from where it sourced its coffee. Through its collaboration with the CI, Starbucks portrayed its brand to be focused on environmental sustainability. While CI directly collaborated with the farmers in teaching them the new growing techniques that were in line with protecting the environment, Starbucks supported the project by buying shade grown coffee that would in turn help in promoting conservation of the natural spaces and improve the wildlife ecosystem as the need for deforestation to grow coffee would be eliminated. Further, the collaboration would reflect Starbuck’s commitment to adopting alternative environmental agriculture practices for a number of coffee-growing regions. Further, through the project Starbucks would be in a position to get the confidence of other leaders in the coffee industry and encourage them to work collaboratively to establish industry wide guidelines focused on the environmental and social welfare of all the stakeholders involved. This is because, in terms of environment, it started supporting shade grown coffee and in terms of social welfare, by signing the agreement it extended support to the local farmers by providing them with an opportunity to improve their livelihoods through benefiting from the training provided by the CI and getting a chance to supply their coffee to Starbucks which would open new sources of revenue for them, which would, in turn, lead to the overall economic development of the region. Hence, it can be understood that through the project, Starbucks was able to improve its public reputation with regards to environmental responsibility and at the same time was able to lock in a supply of quality coffee as the producers would gain the right to sell the coffee to Starbucks only if the coffee met the quality standards set by Starbucks.

Get instant access to this case solution for only $15

Get Instant Access to This Case Solution for Only $15

Standard Price


Save $10 on your purchase


Amount to Pay


Different Requirements? Order a Custom Solution

Calculate the Price

Approximately ~ 1 page(s)

Total Price


Get More Out of This

Our essay writing services are the best in the world. If you are in search of a professional essay writer, place your order on our website.

Essay Writing Service
whatsapp chat icon

Hi there !

We are here to help. Chat with us on WhatsApp for any queries.

close icon