Beans to a Cup: The Commodity Chain of a Cup of Coffee

1255 WordsJun 17, 20186 Pages
Coffee is a growing part of people’s daily lives. Just before the 9-5 weekdays, and even during the 9-5, it is common for the working class to drink a cup of coffee. To support this accustomed part of our culture, it involves a complex supply chain that allows those coffee beans to turn into a cup that can be consumed. This paper is structured on how Starbucks, the top coffee supplier in the world, can supply its stores, from raw materials to manufacturing, right to the start of someone’s day. CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, originally had the idea that Starbucks would have the community/traditional feel in their stores, and still serve high-quality coffee (“Our Heritage” 1). Adding an Italian vibe to the coffee shops, keeping its…show more content…
Refineries are located on site in Hawaii or occasionally sent to California, sent in boxes, and then packaged in either paper (for small packets for tables) in boxes or just in boxes in Brooklyn, NY (“About Us” 1) to then be bought by clients. According to the Starbucks commodity chain, it is the distribution centers that order the “commodity products” which should be known as the milk, the sugar, the paper cups, etc. (Ho, Narweker, Patel & Ratusznik 13). These get shipped to the distribution centers via truck, and then distributed to retailers once a week, just like coffee beans. Paper for Starbucks is typically grown in colder climates such as Canada and is used to produce the non-reusable paper cups that the coffee is being carried in. However, Starbucks plans on reducing their waste by creating a reusable cup, which is made out of #5 plastic. Ironically, #5 plastic cannot be recycled, as it is not accepted by most recyclers (Root 1), however the “reusable” cup is meant to be semi-permanent meaning it only lasts for about a month or so if not properly cleaned. Nonetheless, the probable marketing gimmick may thoroughly replace the paper cup, which would change the commodity chain from the cups being produced in Canada to China. China is famous for its cheap labor, and it’s something that Canada—who used to be a main producer for cups for Starbucks but now may
Open Document