Economics of Sodexo Coffee Production

Sodexo Coffee Production

By Brooks Mattingley


The production of Sodexo coffee was built from the ground up. Literally. Sodexo draws its coffee source from Starbucks who buy it from farmers that grow the coffee beans. Starbucks utilizes certain practices in order to present a quality product. These practices include fair trade and something called C.A.F.E..


The C.A.F.E. practice that Starbucks has implemented is economically savvy because it ensures that the producers of the coffee beans are practicing more sustainably. Many growers have started to shape their business practices around Starbucks’s C.A.F.E. guidelines in order to be bought by Starbucks. The reason Starbucks has started this program is because they noticed a high demand from the consumer for fair trade coffee. According to Colleen Haight, in “The Problem with Fair Trade Coffee”, many coffee growers “have taken note of this model and made their practices more sustainable to attract the attention of Starbucks’ buyers.”(Haight). One of the buyers for Starbucks is Seattle’s Best. Seattle’s Best follows the socially responsible practices of buying only fair trade and high quality coffee from coffee farmers.

Seattle’s Best is owned by Starbucks and implements direct trade policies when dealing with coffee roasters. The direct trade route puts more money into the farmers hands and it is also cheaper for the buyers as opposed to other methods of trade. In the LA Times article, “Coffee: Direct-trade route in coffee buying pays off for Seattle’s Best Founder” by Melissa Allison, the production of coffee is exposed as Marina Trujillo, one of the farmers for Seattle’s Best explains her growing and selling patterns. “Trujillo decided early that she wanted to sell directly to roasters, negotiating with them on price and quality. Direct trade has become fashionable because it cuts out a middleman — often putting more money into farmers’ hands and helping roasters forge long-term relationships across cultural boundaries.”(Allison).

The many production practices that Sodexo’s coffee goes through makes it taste sweet in multiple respects. Not only are the growers receiving fair pay for their product they are producing the coffee sustainably.

See Colleen Haight’s article “The Problem with Fair Trade Coffee” (Stanford Social Innovation Review 3/5/2014)

See Melissa Allison’s article “Coffee: Direct-trade route in coffee buying pays off for Seattle’s Best Founder” (LA Times 4/25/2011)


Economics of Sodexo Coffee Production

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