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Howard Schultz on Free Trade

 


Bring manufacturing back, even at cost to bottom line

Q: What would be your recipe for the rural economy? They were one-manufacturer towns, right? That manufacturer leaves. So what do you do?

HOWARD SCHULTZ: Well, let me tell you an example. I was in East Liverpool, Ohio, right outside of Pittsburgh. We saw an old factory that has been out of work for over ten years. A pottery factory. We went to that factory. Starbucks gave them an order, and we started employing people and we started that factory. Businesses across the country need to recognize we need to bring manufacturing back to America. And these rural towns cannot be left behind.

Q: Do you think it should be a priority of companies to decide, even if it's not the best for the bottom line, to rebuild rural America?

SCHULTZ: The rules of engagement for a public company today have changed dramatically. It's not only about the bottom line. There has to be a balance between profitability and doing everything we can to get the country moving again.

Source: Meet the Press 2014 interview by Chuck Todd , Nov 9, 2014

Framework for coffee importers: improve quality of life

By 1995, we had completed " Starbucks' Commitment to Do Our Part," a framework outlining our aspirations, and commitments for helping to improve the quality of life in coffee-origin countries. We used the term "framework" rather than "code of conduct" because our guidelines necessarily differed from the codes adopted by importers of manufactured goods like jeans & shoes. Starbucks buys, indirectly, from thousands of farms in about 20 origin countries. We could never conduct meaningful inspections the way a manufacturer does.

We stopped short of threatening to impose penalties on Guatemalan plantations that didn't live up to our standards because of the practical difficulty of enforcing those standards. Our aim was to do our part in ways for which w could be held accountable.

As far as I know, no American company importing agricultural products has ever attempted a code of conduct for foreign suppliers. But after we announced our framework, some still criticized us for failing to put teeth in it.

Source: Pour Your Heart Into It, by Howard Schultz, p.298-299 , Jan 6, 1999

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Page last updated: Apr 27, 2015