Modal close

Hi there,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free daily news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines, or our in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. You need news that isn't being paid for by campaigns or corporations. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on your support. Right now, every new monthly sustaining donation to Democracy Now! will be tripled by a generous supporter. That means if you can give just $4 a month, Democracy Now! gets $12 today.  Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, start your monthly contribution today. Thanks so much. -Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Today Is Boycott Starbucks Day: Activists Stage Protests in Over 100 Cities

Default content image
Media Options

Consumer, environmental, and social justice activists are protesting in front of Starbucks coffee shops in over 100US cities today. Coordinated by the Organic Consumers Association, the protests coincide with Starbucks’ annualshareholders meeting in Seattle.

The protests are designed to call attention to a number of issues, including Starbucks’ use of genetically engineeredingredients in their brand-name products, as well as the company’s refusal to brew and seriously promote Fair Tradecoffee.

Largely due to pressure from the San Francisco-based human rights organization Global Exchange, Starbucks agreed lastyear to sell Fair Trade coffee beans in its stores. Fair Trade certified coffee is guaranteed to have been grownwithout exploiting farmers in the poor countries that produce most of the world’s coffee. The deal was hailed as thefirst time the fair trade movement influenced the mass market in the US, previously being limited to a smattering ofspecialty stores and coffees.

But the progress pales in comparison to Europe, where consumers can buy a range of food products with fair tradelabels, including coffee, tea, chocolate, honey, and bananas, and sales of fair trade coffee represented 7% of theUK’s ground coffee market in 1999.

Two weeks ago Starbucks announced the opening of its first store in Zurich, Switzerland, which is also its firstretail location in continental Europe. Starbucks plans to announce its entry into at least six countries incontinental Europe in the next 12 to 24 months. The company has already opened more than 170 stores in the UnitedKingdom, and plans to open at least 650 stores in Europe by the end of 2003.

So today, on the day that activists launch a new international campaign against Starbucks and on the eve of thecompany’s entry into Europe, we will look at all levels of the Starbucks production cycle, from the plantations inGuatemala where coffee is grown, to the roasting factories in the US, to the stores where coffee is brewed and sold,which have blanketed communities across the country.


  • Ronnie Cummins, National Director of the Organic Consumers Association.
  • Naomi Klein, syndicated columnist and author of ??No Logo.
  • Dennis Smith, of the independent non-profit COVERCOS, the Commission for the Verification of Codes ofConduct, speaking from Guatemala City, Guatemala.
  • Renee Jankowitz, organizer with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), local 286, speakingfrom Seattle.
  • Reverend Billy (Bill Talen)

Related links:

Related Story

Video squareStorySep 18, 2018Intercept Report Reveals Senate Ignored Federal Court Employees Willing to Testify Against Kavanaugh
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Up arrowTop