Make Starbucks Play Fair

This morning I found in my inbox the following email from my friend Lacey:

Each year, coffee companies make billions of dollars. Starbucks alone earned almost $5.8 billion in net revenues during the first three quarters of 2006.

Yet, for every cup of coffee Starbucks sells, poor farmers in coffee-growing countries like Ethiopia earn only about $.03.

Even worse, while Ethiopian farmers grow some of the finest name-brand coffees in the world – think Harar, Yirgacheffe, and Sidamo – they don’t see the premium profits those names command among consumers.

Oxfam and a coalition of allies are asking Starbucks to sign this agreement. According to one coalition member, control of the name brands could increase Ethiopia’s coffee export income by more than 25 percent – or $88 million annually. This money could go a long way to help lift millions of Ethiopians out of poverty.

So please, help us convince Starbucks to sign this agreement with Ethiopia. Poor farmers deserve a fair share of the profits.

This email came because Lace had it sent to me via MakeTradeFair.com, a site devoted to bringing about fair trade for medicines, impoverished coffee growers, and more. So if you’re a big coffee drinker, like myself, go on over and sign the petition. Also check out the Fair Trade Federation to learn how screwed the growers of our beloved coffee actually get.

And just for the record if there were at least a half way decent non-franchise (or at least a local franchise) within five miles of my house, I’d abandon Starbucks altogether. However, this is currently not the case…well, actually there is one in Mt. Juliet, but it closes at 5:00 pm. :-/

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/25906087 ginger

    non-franchise is so much better anyway… much more original. SO tired of starbucks, but can’t find anything decent around here! i need a fidos!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14866015493462687304 Lacey

    i hate it because i love starbucks. yes. i said it. i really do. why do they have to be so evil?

    i am torn.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/25906087 ginger

    fyi–bongo java (in the belmont area) supports fair trade and i’m 99% sure fido’s does too…