Starbucks chief pushes for fair-trade, eco-friendly coffee

Starbucks has served as a convenient target for the anti-globalization crowd, especially given that you can’t throw a brick in some neighborhoods without breaking a Starbucks window. But CEO Orin Smith is fighting back against the company’s bad reputation. He recently announced that, by 2007, Starbucks would attempt to procure 60 percent of its coffee from farmers following a strict set of environmental and labor rules under the Coffee and Farmer Equity (CAFE) Practices Program. Smith also announced that when he retires next March, he will head a $1 billion fundraising effort for Conservation International, the enviro nonprofit with which Starbucks developed the CAFE program. “We are well past the time when we can continue to make excuses that we can’t do anything about these things,” Smith said. “It isn’t somebody else’s problem.”