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NOTICE: Since this project was thought up Starbucks have bowed to public pressure and changed their policies, they do now stock SOME Official Fair Trade coffee. This is only TWO AND A HALF YEARS after it was made available in the US, the reason we were given for this delay was that there were problems with shipping it from the US. They did not however have any problems shipping tonnes of unfair trade coffee from the remotest parts of the world.
However lets not be angry at the multinational hoodlums, this shows that they do have to bow to public pressure, perhaps we can make them change the rest of the way they do business and the rest of their coffee to Fair Trade.
Dear Coffee Drinker
Dont Be Scared
However before you continue that delicious drink Please read this short note.
That eco-friendly, arty, lefty appeal of Starbucks may have won you over,
but its really just make-up my friend. Wake up and smell the coffee:
1- Starbucks farming techniques are unsustainable and damaging to the environment, the crops wipe out bio-diversity and the countries that they buy their coffee from (Guatemala, Indonesia etc) dont enforce any strong environmental regulations. So even if Starbucks release statements about their commitment to the ecology and dislike for chemicals, they are not carried out. This is not likely to improve with the WTO in its current state of slashing all hindrance to big business.
2- Starbucks actively discourage unions and workers rights, workers work part-time flexible shifts, meaning that they dont have the rights of full time employees, they can easily be replaced and dont get sick pay. Workers have no leg to stand on when asking for things such as a fair wage.
3- Starbucks strategy is to subsidise new stores in order to under cut and close down local competition, stores will be run at a loss purely in order to wipe out others. This destroys any local character an area may have, and bulldozes the way for even more bland multinationals.
4- Starbucks new "Commitments To Origins" PR stunt is really just that. Fair trade coffee has to be certified fair trade, with no certification it is meaningless. The "Commitments to Origins" scheme may look ethical and fair trade but it is not Fair Trade, it is Starbucks own version of fair trade which they monitor themselves, or appoint their own independent monitors for. The farmers still get a raw deal, it's just as unethical, but Starbucks get to pretend they are being responsible.
Im not trying to say that Starbucks are the only evil.
They are however the market leaders, and therefore the ones that others copy.
It is up to you to make sure that this type of behaviour is not profitable, you are currently supporting what they are doing, please think before your next drink.
Now enjoy the rest of your coffee
Im sure you paid enough for it.