22 May 2008
More than half of Starbucks' suppliers failed to comply with the company's social responsibility programme, an audit has found.
According to the coffee chain's annual corporate social responsibility report, of the 78 suppliers it surveyed, 41 failed to meet its "zero tolerance" policies. These included missing standards on child labour, harassment of workers and payment of wages.
The 78 suppliers, which provide branded goods, were chosen for review based on perceived risk due to volume of production and country of origin. Seventy-two of the factories assessed last year were in China and of this group 40 failed to comply with the policies. The other vendor that didn't meet standards was in Bangladesh.
As a result of the audit, the company terminated contracts or did not renew business with 14 suppliers. In 2008 it aims to conduct training sessions in 60 factories.
Issues such as transparency, commitment to improvement and allowing access to auditors were also monitored by the study.