The Unloving Cup

The exploits of the Colombian cartels, the Tijuana Boys, and other notorious Latin narco lords are the stuff of legend – but, in sheer numbers, the world’s most successful drug dealer may be none other than the infamous Starbucks gourmet coffee empire, selling over-the-counter caffeine to a billion addicts each year, yielding $2.5 billion in net earnings in 2001.

At last count, the Seattle-based chain had 4,247 outlets in North America, 4,246 of them in the United States and Canada, and one flagship store in Mexico, which, in accordance with the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), is now included in that geographical configuration. Not serendipitously, the arrival of Starbucks in Mexico coincides with the most lacerating crisis in the history of coffee production in Mexico and Central America. Last March, world prices bottomed to 41 cents on the New York commodity market, tying a record low set in 1882. The impact upon poor farmers has been devastating. Although Starbucks likes to paint itself as being socially responsible, Global’s Craig Adair thinks it can be more so. Starbucks, insists Global Exchange, should buy half the coffee it sells in Mexico from Indian farmers at fair trade prices; the mega-corporation has yet to respond to the demand. (San Antonio Current)

i’m boycotting Starbucks again. this time for good. they were getting better for a second there. but not good enough. farmers are losing their land and facing starvation.

Outraged?!! What YOU can DO:
*Write Starbucks with your concerns:
Orin Smith, CEO, Starbucks Coffee Company
P.O. Box 34067, Seattle WA 98124-1067
fax: 206-447-3432
email: osmith@starbucks.com
*If you are a Starbucks customer, always buy Fair Trade!
*Tell the Starbucks workers and customers about your commitment to buy only Fair Trade.
*Keep asking for Fair Trade brewed coffee.
*Join the Organic Consumers Association (www.purefood.org) to demand that Starbucks brew Fair Trade once a week and offer only rBGH- and GMO-free milk, food and coffee.

visit http://www.transfairusa.org for more info on fair trade certified products. and also check out http://www.maketradefair.com.

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