Tell Starbucks to behave

I just took part in this Starbucks campaign by sending a letter to the CEO of Starbucks.

Tell Starbucks to Give Ethiopian Farmers Their Fair Share

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.

With as many as 15 million Ethiopians dependent on coffee, Ethiopia has decided to get its farmers more of what they deserve. The country's government has asked Starbucks to sign a licensing agreement that will allow Ethiopia to control the names of its coffees. That way, Ethiopia can help determine an export price that makes sure farmers see a larger share of the profits enabling them to feed their children, send them to school and get them better healthcare.

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.

See also this article in the Guardian.


At October 27, 2006, Blogger Luigi Mario said...

As a coffe conaisseur i know that the best coffes are form third world countris like Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, East Timor and Etiopia, so i bet that this country its not the only one to have that problem.

At October 28, 2006, Blogger Johan said...

i think there are some fair trade in some of those countries. jamaica and the dominican republic are fairly stabe countries whereas ethiopia and east timor have had more than their fair share of turmoil (to say the least!!!). jamaica have their blue mountain coffee. i do no if they have made it in to a trademark but if you say blue mountain to a caffeinist they would probably think of jamaica only.

do you know is there is international version of the european region "trademark". ie feta cheese can be only be from greece etc.

btw arent all coffee beans grown in "the third world"?

At October 29, 2006, Blogger Luigi Mario said...

Saudi Arabia, Iemen and Oman are third World Countries?

At October 31, 2006, Blogger Johan said...

good question. saudi arabia and oman both have oddles of money while yemen is one of the most poor arabic countries, although they also have oil. i guess fair trade coffee in yemen could be a good idea. at least they have farming for that although qat might have taken over some plantations...

i dunno how they are on democracy. neither oman nor saudi arabia are democratic since the rulers are the kings and sultans. some of the arabic royal family is also suspected to be hard core fans of osama bin laden.

the sultan of oman a few years ago started an advisory council of which less than 10% are eligble to vote for. yemen is a republic.

but since neither of the three belong to the 1st or 2nd world, yes you could probably put them under the list of 3rd or 4th world countries.


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