Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “Fair Trade Coffee”

Starbucks Redeemed

So it seems my accusation about Starbucks being anti-trade union is apparently groundless. In May 2004, an organization called the Starbucks Workers Union was formed in New York. The union now includes Latin American workers and has successfully advocated for better conditions and for the purchase of Fair Trade coffee.

I am not convinced that Starbucks has laid down a red carpet for a trade union and there probably has been threats with at least one firing of a worker who was trying to organize. In fairness this barista, Erik Foreman, was reinstated to his job.

More about the Union’s actions can be found here, And I guess we can keep enjoying Starbucks.

Though if you do live in the Bay Area, here are some great independent coffee shops. Please check them out.

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/

 

 

Are Starbucks Free Trade?

Starbucks work hard to be a huge successful business and maintain the ideological tenants that guided them in the early years. They heard their customers call for Free Trade coffee and answered the call.

Or did they? Others say they merely made a symbolic gesture to fool us that their coffee is Fair Trade.

Now independent coffee shop owners such as Joe Cesa, who owns Joe Coffee Bar in Philadelphia, is hardly going to be objective, given that his little cafe is probably surrounded by several Starbucks.

 

But I do wonder what the truth is? If you know any more, please let us know in the comments below.

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at www.alonshalev.com

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