I just emailed Starbucks to ask them about their business practices in Ethiopia. Last month I blogged about some info that I heard about how little Starbucks pays the Ethiopian farmers they buy their beans from. This deeply disturbed me. You know it's serious when I start avoiding my favorite coffee chain! Here is what a cnnmoney.com article says:
"Last season, that pound of coffee fetched farmers an average price of $1.45. Figuring in the cost of generator fuel, bank interest, labor and transport across Ethiopia's dusty roads, it netted them less than $1. In the U.S., however, that same pound of coffee commands a much higher price: $26 for a bag of Starbucks' roasted Shirkina Sun-Dried Sidamo."
Read my blogs from February for more info about Starbucks, how fair trade works and why I am doing my best to steer clear of Starbucks these days. Also check out saintscoffee.com and try a bag of their organic, fair trade certified coffee. When you buy a pound of coffee from Saints you pay for an orphan to eat for a month. It is a really good cup of coffee that gives back.
I will let you know if I hear back from anyone at Starbucks Corporate and post their response to my email. If you want to help the cause, feel free to write an email of your own and up your awareness about where your coffee (and all your food if you are feeling crazy) is coming from. Simply go to Starbucks.com and click on customer service at the top of the page if you want to send an email. Let me know if you hear back from them!