Starbucks is doing most of the politically correct things that keep its image positive, in the interest of keeping sales high, I'm sure. What does it matter what motivates the giant? It buys 99% conflict-free coffee beans. That means the growing and harvesting are done by reasonably paid workers, not slaves and/or children. Deforestation isn't increased by Starbucks' coffee consumption. When a new social or environmental hot button arises, Starbucks responds quickly and effectively. I'm not saying they're perfect, but they aren't evil, either.
Sum of Us is upset that Starbucks hasn't met its promise to switch to 100% sustainable palm oil by 2015. Sum of Us calls this failure "Starbucks' dirty little secret." I think Sum of Us has gone too far on this one. Starbucks has taken great strides to eliminate use of palm oil that causes deforestation, endangering the habitats of tigers and orangutans, among others. And Starbucks has joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) as one of many steps.
Ah, now there's an organization that I'd be interested in holding accountable. Leave Starbucks alone, and find out why on earth members of RSPO own plantations that are contributing to palm oil deforestation? The one-meeting-a-year group can't guarantee that the palm oil it certifies is deforestation free! What the heck are they doing, then? RSPO sounds to me like a made-up "action committee" that makes corporations look more responsible just by joining, but is actually ridiculously ineffective and accountable to no one! Sure, that makes sense. I'd really like to know who's paying for RSPO to exist.
Most major corporations who want to make the world a better place can do so all by themselves. And they do. Dozens of fast-food chains, the biggest users of palm oil, have become deforestation-free, including McDonald's, KFC, Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme. Starbucks has very good policies about pay rates, quality of products, sources of ingredients. They're working to become deforestation-free. Leave them alone, Sum of Us, and take a good hard look at the RSPO. Better yet, disband the group and focus on supporting the Rainforest Action Network, a coalition that is actually improving conditions in the palm oil industry.