Consumer Group to Protest at 300 Starbucks

Sep 16, 2002

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has announced that it will distribute leaflets and protest at approximately 300 Starbucks Coffee Shops from September 21 through 28. The protest is intended to “call attention to Starbucks’ use of GE ingredients in their food and beverages, as well as Starbucks’ refusal to brew Fair Trade, shade-grown coffee as its ‘coffee of the day’ once a week.”

According to the organization, the OCA is a network of 400,000 consumers of organic products opposed to genetically engineered foods and industrial agriculture.

Ronnie Cummins, national director of the association called on Starbucks to “remove GE ingredients from its food and beverages and start serving up fair trade and organic coffee as its ‘Coffee of the Day’.” The OCA contends that Fair Trade coffee represents less than one percent of company sales and that most of its drinks contain GE ingredients.

The OCA would like to see all stores serving coffee:

1. Brew and promote fair trade and organic coffee on a regular basis.

2. Use rBGH-free dairy products.

3. Offer organic soy and/or rice milk alternatives to cow’s milk.

  1. Sell organic foods and fair trade chocolate.

  2. Eliminate all GE foods.

Moderator’s Comment: Would agreeing to the OCA’s demands
provide any great benefit to Starbucks?

As you would expect, Starbucks is not the only company
on the OCA’s list. The association has plans to hand out leaflets protesting
Kraft Foods, in October, for the company’s use of genetically engineered ingredients
in its food products. We could see many of Starbucks’ consumers being interested
enough to listen to what the OCA has to say. Most consumers of Kraft Foods’
brands probably don’t and won’t give it much thought. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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