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Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for Health, Justice, and Sustainability

Dear Loyal OCA Member,

The OCA needs your

support to help make
Starbucks put its
money where its mouth is
and support fair trade
Starbucks enjoys lots of good press due
to the fact that they “support” fair-trade
coffee. What, exactly, is meant by “sup-
In April 2000, Starbucks became a leader among major coffee companies when it announced it
would begin to offer Fair Trade coffee in thousands of stores nationwide. Fair Trade supporters
who targeted Starbucks in campaigns against “sweatshop coffee” hailed the company’s decision

as “the first step in creating a truly socially responsible andenvironmentally sustainable global

Starbucks immediately developed promotional, marketing, and educational materials about Fair
Trade, and designed Fair Trade packaging that boldly featured the Fair Trade Certified label. The
company signaled that its foray into Fair Trade would become an integral part of its business,
and pledged “continued and growing participation” in support of coffee farmers, their communi-

ties and their environment.

The first year Starbucks carried Fair Trade, the company purchased over 600,000 pounds, mak-
ing it one of the country’s largest roasters and retailers of Fair Trade coffee, even though Fair
Trade accounted for less than 1 percent of Starbucks’ total coffee procurement. Over the last few
years, Starbucks has steadily purchased higher volumes of Fair Trade, yet Fair Trade still makes
up less than 2 percent of the more than 100 million pounds of coffee that Starbucks purchases
annually. The prominence of the Fair Trade Certified logo in Starbucks stores is still vastly dis-
proportionate to the actual amount of Fair Trade coffee that passes through them.

Starbucks’ commitment to Fair Trade is a far cry from the 5 percent figure that social justice
and environmental advocates such as Global Exchange and the Organic Consumers Association
would like to see Starbucks attain. 29 Until recently, Fair Trade supporters had difficulty criticiz-
ing Starbucks over its modest Fair Trade figures, since most coffee companies of Starbucks’ size
had ignored the Fair Trade market altogether. No matter how low a benchmark it set, as long as
none of its competitors bothered to surpass it, Starbucks could rest comfortably in the top spot.
Organic Consumers Association (OCA)
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-
profit public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustain-
ability. The OCA deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture,
genetic engineering, children’s health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, envi-
ronmental sustainability and other key topics. We are the only organization in
the US focused exclusively on promoting the views and interests of the nation’s
estimated 50 million organic and socially responsible consumers.

The OCA represents over 850,000 members, subscribers and volunteers,
including several thousand businesses in the natural foods and organic market-
place. Our US and international policy board is broadly representative of the
organic, family farm, environmental, and public interest community.

Since February 2001, OCA activists in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia,

we’re doing
New Zealand and other countries have protested and leafleted outside of
nearly one thousand Starbucks cafes, demanding that the company:

Remove genetically engineered ingredients from their food and dairy

products on a worldwide basis.

Improve working conditions for coffee plantation workers.

about it. Brew and seriously promote fair trade coffee in all of their cafes.

The OCA also sponsors many fair-trade friendly alternatives to Starbucks.

One of our sponsors, Higher Grounds, sells delicious fair trade coffee. Addi-
tionally, on our website (http://www. we have links to
help you locate non-corporate fair-trade friendly cafes in your area.

There are a number of ways

you can help:
Please contact the OCA office at 218-226-4164 or for more information.
We hope you will join us for this exciting campaign!

. Visit to:

Find a local non-corporate cafe!

How you
Download and print leaflets to distribute outside, as well as
petitions to mail in!
Send a free fax to Starbucks to let them know you want

them to remove genetically engineered ingredients,
and support fair-trade!

can help. Make a donation! Your support will help us get through to Star-
bucks and encourage them to support fair-trade products. You can
donate in several ways:

Donate online. This secure credit card server makes donating online
quick and easy.

Mail your donation. Just send a check or money order to:

Organic Consumers Association
6771 South Silver Hill Drive
Finland, MN 55603

Call our office toll-free. 888-403-1007

© 2006 Organic Consumers Association.