This case study focuses on Starbucks' challenges in integrating Fair Trade coffee into its global supply chain, empowering family farmers and workers to escape poverty. With its large market presence, Starbucks has been under pressure to increase Fair Trade imports. However, Fair Trade coffee is, by design, more expensive than similar goods. How has Starbucks approached Fair Trade? What is the real value and limitations of the Fair Trade model? What obstacles does Starbucks face in making Fair Trade work for everyone, including customers? Focusing on realistic issues and challenges, this case study offers exceptional value to both students and practitioners. Author: Dustin Smith, Washington State University.
Chuck Munson is a tenured Full Professor of Operations Management at Washington State University. His Ph.D. and MSBA in operations management, as well as his BSBA summa cum laude in finance, are from Washington University in St. Louis. He also worked for three years as a financial analyst for Contel Telephone Corporation. For two years, he served as Associate Dean for Graduate Programs in Business at Washington State.
Munson serves as a senior editor for Production and Operations Management, and he serves on the editorial review board of four other journals. He has published more than 20 articles in multiple journals, including Production and Operations Management, Decision Sciences, Naval Research Logistics, IIE Transactions, European Journal of Operational Research, Journal of the Operational Research Society, Annals of Operations Research, European Journal of Information Systems, Interfaces, Business Horizons, and International Journal of Procurement Management. His major awards include being a Founding Board Member of the Washington State University President's Teaching Academy (2004); winning the WSU College of Business Outstanding Service Award (2009 and 2013), Research Award (2004), and Teaching Award (2001); and being named the WSU MBA Professor of the Year (2000 and 2008).