Starbucks Challenge: Update

About a month ago, I first posted upon Green LA Girl’s Starbuck’s challenge. One of the goals of the challenge was to show the distance between what the Starbuck’s Corporation said in regard to Free Fair-Trade coffee, and what was really happening at their locations. The realities between what was said and what was done were a tad different on some occaissions, vastly different in many others.

For the record, this is what Starbucks promises:

Starbucks company-operated stores in North America feature Café Estima Blend™, a Fair Trade Certified™ coffee as Coffee of the Week on a quarterly or more frequent basis. Café Estima Blend™ is always available by the cup upon request in Starbucks North America retail stores.

Emphasis mine.

At any rate, LA Girl recently posted her own update of what this movement has acheived.

1. Starbucks admitted that there IS a problem: a break down in customer service.

2. Starbucks sent out a bunch of emails to take care of the problem — which totally worked for the Starbucks in Singapore, but not for most of the US Starbucks — especially many in LA.

3. Starbucks admitted the emails, sadly, were not doing the job, and said they’ll set up, before the end of the month, a meeting between me (and hopefully some other bloggers), Starbucks CSR reps, and district managers in the LA area.

4. [*NEW*] By May 2006, Starbucks will include a lil video in its “new partner learning program” that’ll reiterate Starbucks’ policy to provide customers with a French press — including Cafe Estima, Starbucks’ lone fair trade certified blend sold in stores. This means new baristas will be officially taught about Starbucks French-press-on-demand policy through a video during their first few weeks of work!

Kudos to LA Green Girl and everyone who has taken the Starbucks Challenge. It’s heartening to see things like this succeed get the attention of the larger corporations.

UPDATED: Fixed a crucial typo and changed the wording to better reflect LA Green Girl’s POV that she left in the comments.

This’ll teach me to post after downing a bottle of cough syrup.

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