then again: wal-mart’s image-shining efforts — including “responsible” coffee sourcing — aren’t exactly invulnerable. as if we needed another reminder that the bigger the fair-trader, the more inevitable the shortcomings…
UPDATE: this fascinating line from the washington post version:
The incident underscores the public relations challenges Wal-Mart faces as it tries to shed its reputation as a rural retailer and move into metropolitan areas.
which begs the question: could direct-sourced coffee be more than just an attempt at socially nice p.r. — but a more finely honed plan to attract globally conscious, trend-addicted, coffee-loving urbanites in the areas where it’s faced the most expansion resistance? that would make deals with brazilian farmers vastly more significant as a business move, no?