Town is Special
are Fort Collins Citizens for Local Business Accountability, and
we would like to welcome to your beautiful new location in the Northern
Hotel. As you know, because the renovation of the Northern is part
of an affordable housing project, your store benefited from our
Old Town is unlike anyplace else in Fort Collins. Indeed, Old Town
is unlike anyplace else in the country, and we are very proud of
it. It helps define Fort Collins for us, with its friendly atmosphere,
pedestrian areas, and most important, its local flavor. We cherish
our local businesses here. A dollar spent with them stays in our
community and works for us again and again.
We hope that; as a powerful outsider coming into Old Town starbucks;
you will use your tremendous resources to raise the bar on your
own business practices. It is in that spirit of hopefulness that
we welcome you and invite you to be a true member of the community.
Your stores were targeted and your windows broken during the Seattle
WTO protests in 1999. Since then you've occasionally used heavy
police fortification to protect some of your stores. We are opposed
to that sort of conflict following you to Old Town. To ensure community
peace, we would like to voice some of our concerns in the hope of
beginning a long and mutually beneficial relationship.
Responsibility. You are now operating within mere
blocks of over half a dozen Fort Collins-based coffee shops. These
businesses are essential to our local economy: their profits stay
in Fort Collins. Cannibalizing their business would tear the fabric
of this community.
Trade for Coffee Beans. Starbucks has come under intense
international scrutiny for business practices involving your coffee
growers. Global Exchange and several other noted human rights
organizations have repeatedly requested that Starbucks ensure
its growers receive a fair price for their labor and product.
Thus far, Starbucks has taken only hesitant steps toward solving
Modified Foods. Starbucks continues to use milk containing
recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), which is often associated
with higher risks for cancer. rBGH is banned in every industrialized
country in the world, except the U.S.
Practices. Starbucks has been profiled extensively for
questionable labor practices, including allegations of intimidating,
threatening and engaging in “psychological warfare”
against workers who want to join unions. Health and safety charges
and charges of labor standards violations have been brought in
front of the U.S. and Canadian governments. Starbucks' use of
prison labor to package coffee has also been documented.
Commitment to Community
Starbucks is a respected and successful multinational corporation,
with revenues of over $2.6 billion last year. You clearly have the
resources to be a leader in your industry and in all the communities
you touch. We're asking that you use those resources to honor our
requests, making your Old Town store a showcase of community responsibility,
honoring our tax money, local businesses, and our special Old Town
Support Colorado agriculture by purchasing all milk from local
dairy farmers by May 1.
Pledge to refrain from selling anything made with sweatshop
labor or prison labor.
Respect your role as part of an affordable housing project for
seniors by hiring seniors in the store.
Eliminate all your use of genetically modified products, including
milk that contains rBGH, by this time next year.
Honor our Spanish-speaking community members by providing all
written materials in Spanish and English.
Ensure coffee farmers earn a living wage by brewing all coffee
drinks in the store using beans that have been certified as
“fair trade” by TransFair, the internationally recognized
certifying body, starting May 1.
Respect your workers by pledging to pay them a living wage,
and to support their rights to unionize if they desire.
Present a plan for using local and regional services and suppliers
as much as possible, including your printed goods, paper and
ceramic cups, and bakery supplies.
Disclose annually how much of every dollar collected in your
store stays in Fort Collins and Colorado, where it benefits
our community. Outline a plan to keep more of every dollar here.
Outline a plan to assist the nearby small coffee shops in case
they encounter financial hardship within the next three years,
whether probably your fault or not.
Please send your responses to the above items by electronic mail
no later than Monday, March 25.
look forward to your timely and positive responses, demonstrating
your ongoing commitment to our community.