Friday, April 17, 2009

Earth Day Celebrations Post#2

In celebration for Earth Day (please see my previous post) Starbucks is promoting a social responsibility incentive to everyone in Winnipeg! (and many other cities too)
Want to try the new Pike Place Roast Coffee?
Great! So do I!
Want to try it for free?
Great! So do I!
Here's how it works.... On April 22nd,2009, stop in at any Starbucks in the city with a refillable coffee cup. They will fill your cup with the new Pike Place Roast coffee, absolutely free! Just for doing your part on Earth Day. I will probably stop by about three times that day, but what a deal! My hat off to Starbucks for doing this for us on this day. Every other day, thereafter, if you bring in your own cup, they will take 10 cents off your purchase as an incentive to not use paper cups. Read more about Starbucks and Earth Day here.

Now, you may be wondering "Why the big deal? It's only coffee." True, it is coffee, but have you PAID for a Starbucks coffee lately? It isn't cheap, and it can run you upwards of $5.00 if you get one of those fancy, dancy, Frappacino-Cappacino-Mocha-Chai blends my wife gets all the time.

The big deal is that they are promoting fair and ethically traded coffee and bringing up this touchy subject so that you can't ignore it. It's hitting you straight in the face. Starbucks is one of the largest coffee chains that does support fairly traded coffee. Now, not all of their coffees are fairly traded, but their goal is to have all of their coffee stamped with the fair trade label some day. You can help make sure that this becomes a reality by asking them to brew any fairly traded coffee when you walk into any Starbucks. They will not ever say no to you.

So what is fair trade? I'm glad you asked! Here is a bit of insight into the people making the money and the people doing all of the work. This may surprise you!

Agriculture is a big business. This should be good news for farmers, but not for small scale farmers in developing countries. Most farmers work their small plots of land, isolated from markets. By the time their goods are actually sold, the many middlemen (each with their hand out) take most of the profit before it actually reaches the people growing it. Fair trade makes sure the people doing all of the work are compensated "fairly" and in this way, can provide for themselves a dignified livelihood.

So what does this all mean to you? It may mean nothing except a great way to get a free cup of coffee, and, HEY! That's okay. But if you are so inclined, please read more about Fair Trade, and educate yourself a little about the world that we are so sheltered from in this beautiful land called Canada!

Read more about Starbucks Shared Planet commitment!

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