Starbucks Coffee Company  - CLEO Skip to main content


This case traces the origins of Starbucks and its rapid growth through joint partnerships and diversified products, and its rapid expansion of retail cafes. A profile of Starbuck’s financial contributions to community development and literacy projects, and its efforts to promote progressive workplace conditions is presented. Despite this, criticisms of pushing out local businesses, homogenization of the culture and failure to engage in fair trade practices and purchase fair trade coffee beans have led Global Exchange to seriously consider mounting a boycott of the company during the anti-globalization rallies scheduled during the World Bank and IMF meetings. Starbucks management confronts this issue and lays out its concerns about embracing this social objective.