Proposal: Many people around the world have found themselves craving caffeine in one form or another. Recently, the most popular form of caffeine has become coffee, creating a recent boom in the industry. Starbucks is just one of America’s most prominent coffee chains and has changed the face of the coffee industry into a monopolization of the best international coffees, speciality drinks, sandwiches and store brand items. The growth of the company has also lead economists to believe that Starbucks has had a positive impact on both the American and Global economies. A “Starbucks theory” has even been created to show to correlation between the company’s fortunes and the health of the overall economy. For my research project, I plan to prove that the company has a positive impact on the national and international economy. However, I also plan to look at the pay of the international workers. There was a 2007 lawsuit that proved the Starbucks corporation did not abide to international labor laws and pay rates. I plan to research if, and why, this is still true. If Starbucks is one of the leading economic factors and is paying top price for premium international brews and other speciality items, then why aren’t they willing to pay their workers top dollar for these items? So, my research will primarily be focused on economics: why Starbucks is able to generate a large international income and help the growth of the economy but not able to support their international workers.
Source 1: <http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2007/03/05/8401343/index.htm> This article was found through Academic Search Premiere. It talks about the 2007 law suit between the Starbucks corporation and Ethiopia over trademark rights to coffee producing regions. “… the Ethiopian government planned to force those who sell its coffee into licensing agreements.. but Starbucks got there first.” The article describes in full detail the work that an Ethiopian coffee worker does daily and the amount they get paid and the extra money that Starbucks pays on things such as packaging. The angst between the company and country is also quoted.
Use: I plan to use this source to talk about how the Corporation obtains coffee and treats its workers over seas. Working conditions in Etheopia were rated 170 out of 177 by the UN. It is a good source for antidotes, and proof of violated laws overseas and the poor working and pay conditions the workers receive; each coffee farmer nets about $120 per year. But, the corporation takes out about $20 in corporation and union fees; this does not include state sanctioned taxes. But, each farmer is then rewarded $6.50 for its “premium coffee farming.” The question is: do they treat their workers economically fair?
The source was found through the Academic Search premiere database and gives a detailed description of the number one selling coffees that are trying to oppose the Starbucks corporations and their economics.
Use: I attend to use this source as alternatives to the Starbucks Industry.
http://www.economist.com/node/1846165The source is a brief description of the salaries of Starbucks employees in America and some history of the coffee shops both national and international.
Use: To counter argue source #1. The second site will be used to support the fact that the company is creating international and local jobs, especially in urbanized areas.
The above article(s) details the “Starbucks theory” which is similar to the McDonalds theory which states that by incorporating Starbucks Coffee shops into local and international communities, it is possible that the current recession the world is facing will deplete. The third source included is speech given by the current President of Starbucks.
Use: to prove the point that Starbucks is an essential unit in the global economy.
Source 5: <http://www.economist.com/node/2361072>
The above is a study done by The Economist that discusses the “crave” for coffee internationally. They compare it with the “big mac” study previously conducted by their publication.
Use: The source proves the “need” for quality coffee and also compliments source 4.1 in discussing the Starbucks theory in comparison to the McDonald’s theory of increasing international GDP.
Source 6: <http://www.economist.com/node/2042797>
The source discusses recent coffee taxes, specifically on expresso.
Use: The tax will go towards helping underprivileged children in coffee bearing nations get an education. However, Starbucks along with many other coffee shop owners, are investing a large sum of money to prevent this tax from occurring.