Starbucks & Shade Coffee

Wallis Bolz wallitra at
Fri Feb 26 00:25:21 PST 1999

Starbucks is real good at making these PR announcements, but evidence
suggests the company lacks follow through. A few years ago, Starbucks
shareholders busted Starbucks for failing to actually invest any time and
money in its much ballyhooed commitment to the communities who grow the
coffee. Starbucks was going to fund schools for the children of the poor
slobs consigned to a lifetime picking beans for the arriviste gringos.
Starbucks lame reply? "It was harder to implement the program than we
thought." Oh boo hoo hoo, Howard Schulz, take a note from the Peace Corps.
However, it wasn't hard for Starbucks to accept an award from Wall Street
for their commitment to environmental justice. The article I refer to was
published in the Washington Free Press, to my recollection, in the year when
shade grown first crossed the radar of dedicated eco-shoppers.

I'd be interested in the success of this latest venture. I stopped buying
coffee from Starbucks when a company spokesperson said they could not carry
shade grown coffee because it would only confuse the customer. My goodness,
what a nice way to call your customer a dumbbell.

Wallis Bolz

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