Starbucks is in hot water again as they are in the news once more for being caught buying coffee beans from companies that use child labor. Starbucks again and again had promised to move to more ethical labor, but they’ve been caught once more.
In a statement published on Twitter directly from Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson had this to say, “We are listening and want to address the concerns of how we harvest our coffee beans and it is important the customer understands the product they are buying. We outsource our coffee beans from many different international companies across the globe. Often these countries are under developed and opportunity is slim. Which is why Starbucks is proud to say we employee child apprentices. Working on a Starbucks coffee bean farm gives these children the opportunity to learn the agricultural process of how to harvest coffee beans, setting them up to start their own venture one day. They are paid a healthy salary of $0.86 cents an hour, a wage that is 1500%+ above the average in these countries. We do this so you the consumer know that our beans will not only be the freshest and tastiest, but ethically outsourced.”
Many of Starbucks’ Twitter followers were outright disgusted by this statement, one user stating, “This sounds like child slavery with extra steps.” Another person saying, “Totally wrong, I’ll be getting my coffee from Dunkin from now on.” It was reported that people tweeting negative things about the statement were sent a $10 Starbucks gift card in their direct messages, shortly before the statement was deleted off Starbucks’ twitter a few hours later.