The Starbucks’ franchise system is a success here in Taiwan (vacationing here) but what disappoints me about Starbucks Corp. is how much it is charging for its coffee in a developing country. The owner of the multinational corporation claims it is practicing fair-trade coffee, but as I sit here at Starbucks to read and blog, I am noticing some of their hypocrisy. The purchasing power of Taiwanese people have decreased, but yet, it is charging customers here a premium for its coffee.
A cup of regular brew is 85/95 NT for a tall/grande, which is equivalent to US$ 2.80/3.12 (or Cdn$ 3.73/4.17). A fair price ought only be 50/60 NT (according to its U.S. currency equivalent). What does this mean? If an American customer in Taiwan were to buy a tall cup of Pike Place, s/he would have to pay an extra US$ 1.15 (or 35 NT). Is this outrageous or what?! Does this seem like a fair-trade practice to you?
Starbucks is taking advantage of its Taiwanese customers because it knows it can. People here worship almost anything made in America. The owner/founder Howard Shultz claims he practices fair-trade but what is practiced and preached just seems a little incongruent to me.
It also makes me wonder where else around the world is Starbucks taking advantage of people.