ms. fresh fish

Ongoing Starbucks Boycott
May 29, 2007, 6:28 am
Filed under: Restaurants

I’m proud to say that I’ve been able to maintain my Starbucks boycott since Maria sent me an article detailing their unethical participation in fair-trade markets on May 10th. That’s almost 20 days, and a lot of money lost on their part (I’m sure they noticed)!

It was a painful decision because I had just started to really get into their bold coffee after training my palate for months, and as you can imagine, that is not a flavour easily replicated.  Also, I felt guilty and still feel badly for my co-workers who used to enjoy splurging on the occasional ‘bucks instead of the $1 mom-and-pop coffee shop downstairs from our work during our afternoon coffee breaks. As anyone in an office-life can relate to, and anyone not in one can imagine, coffee breaks are key to the bureaucrat’s well-being.

Here’s some more information, in case you’re interested. Looks like Starbucks is also making enemies in Ethiopia.


4 Comments so far
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If you can switch to a Bodum at your desk (the coffee itself can be consumed elsewhere and the ritual of preparing it is remarkably soothing), then you have to try Kicking Horse Kick Ass (or 454 in a pinch), available at Hartman’s when they get around to stocking it. It’s fair trade, organic, shade grown, supported by a Canadian migratory bird organization, etc., so really its only drawback is how far it flies to get here. But until global warming kicks it up a notch and turns the Ottawa Valley into a rainforest (desert?), that’s the bit about coffee that doesn’t bear thinking about.

Comment by Mel

You are boycotting Starbucks for buying too much Fair Trade Coffee??? Starbucks is the world’s largest buyer of Fair Trade Coffee–18 million pounds in 2006. They represented 30% of Fair Trade purchases outside the US and 18% of Fair Trade imports to the US.
Starbucks disupute with Ethiopia centered on whether or not Ethiopia should use a trademark or geopgraphic certification to try and get a higher price for their coffee. Really exciting.
Starbucks ultimately signed Ethiopia’s trademark agreement. Since the government of Ethiopia routinely jails and kills its opponents and does the bidding of Bush/Cheney, I am boycotting Ethiopian coffee.
For what its worth, the $1.37 that Starbucks paid for Ethiopian coffee in 2006 was just $0.04 below the $1.41 paid by the Fair Trade organization. You are getting this excited over four cents?

Response – You acknowledge that they pay BELOW the agreed upon fair trade price, and THAT is my point. That’s unethical and, forgive the overly simplified, but… greedy. Do they really not make enough on their over-priced cups of coffee to respect the fair trade system already in place and not make side deals to under-cut the other buyers who can’t gobble up as much of the market share and therefore demand lower prices? REALLY?? THAT’S why I’m boycotting them. They throw their power around and not in a good way, as far as I’m concerned. Thanks for reading and sharing though… whoever you are =)

Comment by Large Hamster

You know that I’m a venti bold girl all the way, so it would be hard for me to boycott the dealer of my morning drug.
I used to order fair trade coffee from “Just Us Coffee” in Nova Scotia ( The expresso blend was as delicious as a Starbucks bold blend (perhaps even better). It just became too expensive to buy for single use. As it’s shipped from NS, you have to have a pretty big order in order to negate the shipping charges, thereby rendering it more affordable. Anyhow, for home brew, I highly recommend this fair trade, organic choice … Oh, yah and its Canadian! Go team go!

Comment by Joanne

Can’t read love starbucks can’t read in denial help need coffee fix!

Comment by Stuart

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