Whether it’s the merchandise on our shelves, the furniture in our stores or the aprons worn by our baristas, we care how the products in our stores are made.
Starbucks has a culture and reputation built around responsible, ethical business practices and building communities in areas where we do business. From top down, we’re committed to enhancing our ethical performance through strategic relationships with our global, regional and domestic suppliers.
What We’re Doing Now
We’re also committed to social responsibility standards for the merchandise, furniture and other items found in our stores. We’ve set strong standards for our suppliers and offer them assistance when corrections need to be made to their business practices. Adherence to those standards informs our sourcing decisions and ensures we are working with suppliers who share our commitment to ethical sourcing. Our buyers work directly with suppliers, negotiating contracts for the products we need in our operations or sell to our customers.
In 2012 we assessed 128 factories and found that 36 of them failed our zero-tolerance standards. Even though our approach is to work with suppliers to correct the issues, there are times when we halt business due to the nature of the issues and until adequate resolution takes place. While we were able to implement improvement plans with almost half of these factories, we discontinued working with 15 factories as suppliers for standards issues. Since starting the program in 2006, we have engaged in more than 500 factory assessments and continue to work with more than 70 factories on programs to improve standards.
We are continuing to collaborate with others in our industry to address ethical sourcing best practices in our shared supply bases. Starbucks is a member of the Global Social Compliance Program, a business-driven effort to promote the continuous improvement of environmental and working conditions of global supply chains.
What We’ll Do Next
This year we are highlighting the importance of building strong communities. This manifests itself through conversations around how to address the changing needs of workers, how to better protect the safety of workers, and how to create a sense of community in factories.
In the spirit of our commitment to global communities, we are hosting our annual Supplier Summit in China. The summit will include a community service event and time for suppliers and factories alike to raise questions and concerns to our staff and other key business leaders from our support centers and markets. This will be our seventh Supplier Summit and will bring together a variety of stakeholders all working toward improving the working conditions from where our products are sourced.