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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Starbuck$ Campaign

1. Why Starbucks?

- Starbucks is a marketplace leader. In fact, according to a recent marketing study, they are the fastest growing brand name in the world. They advertise themselves as being a socially and environmentally responsible company. Starbucks owns 4,000 cafes worldwide, buys 32 million gallons of milk (in the US alone) and brews or sells more than 100 million pounds of coffee each year. Starbucks has twenty percent of the coffee shops in the US. By removing genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone and other GE ingredients from their beverages and foods and brewing Fair Trade once a week they can significantly impact the entire food market. Starbucks has an obligation to provide safe food for their consumers and a living wage to coffee growers.

2. Isn't Starbucks already selling Fair Trade coffee?

- Although Starbucks has bowed to consumer pressure and begun selling certified Fair Trade or organic coffee in bulk, they are still refusing to brew it on a weekly basis. Starbucks boasts that in 2002 they will buy one million pounds of Fair Trade coffee and brew it once a month. This is a nominal amount, amounting to less than 1% of the company's total sales.

- Starbucks claims that they pay a fair price for their coffee and that although it is not certified their beans are grown and handled under organic Fair Trade conditions. Without certification this means nothing, since most of the money paid ends up in the hands of middlemen instead of the farmers and workers.

- Many of Starbucks competitors are already brewing Fair Trade and organic coffee daily.

- Global sales of Fair Trade Certified coffee last year were only 30 million pounds (at a minimum price of $1.26 per pound), leaving roughly 135 million pounds that were produced by Fair Trade farmers but which had to be dumped on the commercial market for only 50 cents per pound.

3. Haven't they stopped Using rBGH milk?

- No. Although Starbucks now offers non-rBGH organic milk and soymilk as an option in most its US cafes, most customers have not been made aware of this. In addition, there is an excessive charge of 40 more per cup for these safer alternatives. The vast majority of the 32 million gallons of milk used in Starbucks cafes, and the bottled Frappuccino drinks and ice cream sold in grocery stores have not been certified rBGH free. In recent months Starbucks has also switched from rBGH-free brands to rBGH tainted brand in places like Minnesota.

 




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