More coffee news

January 25, 2007

Nestle and Starbucks have responded to the reports that they have purchased coffee grown illegally in Indonesian National Parks.
From Coffee and Conservation

A spokesman for Nestlé Indonesia made this statement:
“Nestlé never willingly purchases coffee from dubious sources. However, the company admits the difficulty of determining the precise origin of a coffee bag which has passed through different hands before it reaches the Nestlé buyer.”
The emphasis is mine, which precisely sums up why I continuously recommend not buying supermarket coffees. If the companies themselves don’t know where their coffee comes from or how it is farmed, how can we know it is farmed sustainably? Or believe them?
Nestlé also said that the coffee they purchase from Lampung (around 12,000 tons a year) goes to make instant coffee. So brands to avoid = Nescafé and Taster’s Choice.

A spokesperson for Starbucks’ Indonesian partner denied that the company purchased coffee from Lampung (the southern province in question), or any robusta beans from Sumatra at all.
Starbucks is listed in the report on page 50, in an appendix on recipients of tainted coffee. The list was compiled from records of the Cooperative Industry and Trade Service of Lampung province. It’s possible these records could be forged or falsified, I suppose. There is nothing as yet on the Starbucks web site concerning this issue.

In other coffee news…. coffee farmers from around Ethiopia traveled to their capital city in December to demand that Starbucks recognise their country’s ownership of its coffee names. From Oxfam-

While Starbucks charges as much as $26 a pound for Ethiopian specialty coffees, Ethiopian coffee farmers get only 5-10 percent of that price. For this reason, Ethiopia has asked Starbucks to sign a trademark agreement that would give Ethiopia the ability to control the use of its coffee names, occupy a stronger negotiating position with foreign buyers, and capture a larger share of the market

But apparently Starbucks is standing in the way of these efforts towards self determination.
Yet another good reason for me to drink People’s Coffee.

One Response to “More coffee news”

  1. […] about Starbucks and Ethopia A few days ago I mentioned the trademarking issue between Starbucks vs Ethiopia. I have since discovered green LA girl and her excellent and much more in depth Coffee Crisis […]

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