sábado, 22 de marzo de 2008

The greenwashing Starbucks

Greenwash is the term used to describe the relationship that are large corporations or any company in general-among its environmental policies / real social image and offering themselves to the public.
One of the clearest examples and more reported at the international level is Starbucks coffee.

The commitment to the origins of Starbucks.
For those who have had the experience of entering a Starbucks, has enjoyed the atmosphere and chill coffee experience, may have also had enough curiosity to read the brochures that there are shared: glares great social commitment which apparently governs each Details of this company, the world's largest transnational regarding coffee is concerned. But deepen a little more detail on these commitments.

Copy reads one of the paragraphs of his triptychs (I hope I do not complain for violating its copyright):
With our program "Commitment by the Origins" We settled our collaboration with Conservation International and develop a significant involvement in their research project for the conservation of Chiapas and Mexico, to name any of the places of intervention.

But… Who is behind Conservation International?
Conservation International is a pseudo-American NGO established in 1987 and according to its charter, its mission is to "keep alive the heritage of the planet and global biodiversity."

The information in the public domain that have reported on its website that its main income comes from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and corporate Citigroup, Exxon Mobil, ICBG,… McDonalds and Starbucks.
In Chiapas, the Center for Political Analysis and Social and Economic Research (CAPISE) and the Centre for Economic Research and Policy Community Action (CIEPAC), accuse Conservation International "represent the Trojan horse of large transnational corporations and the American government to intervene in the natural resources of Mexico and other nations. "

In addition Conservation International has been accused by various groups and organizations to practice biopiracy in the various projects is charged in the Lacandon jungle. Specifically collects plants and microorganisms in the countries where it works for the benefit of its "strategic alliance" with pharmaceutical multinationals to identify, document and patent the use of traditional medicines by indigenous peoples.

As you can see, there is a strange alignment between Conservation International and Starbucks, which can seriously jeopardize the commercial ties that have been forged over the years between the various labels fair trade and the various cooperatives, as reported different reports:

(…) "The danger is even more evident since the purchase Starbucks coffee in the region. The effort to coffee cooperatives to join the network of fair trade is too big to ignore the risk involved for them the entry of transnational trade fair. "

And… Is fair trade was not good?

Today, more than 200 corporations sell products with the certification of fair trade, its own certification, including Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Sara Lee and Thanksgiving Coffee Company. Unfortunately, the emergence of these firms did not come to bring nothing but confusion to the final consumer and where they are not clearly defined commitments of the various stamps.
In the case of Starbucks sells in its stores in the State Spanish products "Fair Trade" certified in the United States. The Fair Trade has become a new form of marketing ambiguous and effective for businesses.

We must not be fooled by the grenwashing of various corporations and buy blind when it comes to fair trade, we must not confuse the companies with commitments more like Max Havelaar with other products-image.
Specifically Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO International) is the international body responsible for the definition and certification of the Standards of Fair Trade.

Despite that Sodepaz says it is a contradiction (or would like Arcadi Oliveres: Oximorón!) FLO International focuses only on production in the south and not in marketing in the north, and that we can find these products in shopping malls of the most aggressive companies in the south, I think that we have to be consumers of us refuse to buy these products (and indeed any products in general) in supermarkets.

Starbucks and Conservation International

The Starbucks coffee chain tries to impose its own criteria in the purchase and production of coffee, its arrival aa reservations Ecological Montes Azules and El Triunfo, in Chiapas came accompanied by a series of strong protests in the state of Chiapas.
The method followed by Conservation International is the same as that used by the WTO to integrate a country within its circle: by signing contracts between cooperatives and Starbucks coffee, once signed contracts that have unlimited duration, ie not can be subsequently cancelled by cooperatives.

They were also requires the cessation of trade relations with any other entity. Cooperatives affected accuse Conservation International and Starbucks strategy of wanting to impose a neo-colonial and fostering a dependence on transnational, thus affecting organizational capacities of the producers.

Such is the alarm that is being generated in Guatemala that the Communities of Population in Resistance of Peten openly expressed its concern about what it intends to do on their land.
In words of Reynaldo Lopez, coffee producer (La Jornada, April 26, 2004):

"The attitude of CI was or what shots, or leave it, because I have the market and you have to alienate or you go."
Once Conservation International copó the local coffee market began forcing cooperatives to pay a market share of between 5 to 15 dollars per quintal sold.

One of its policies is to open massively cafes in town and wreck the local trade.

Products healthy.

Draws attention to the boycott in more than 100 cities throughout the United States against Starbucks coffee shops, for the use of genetically altered ingredients and feed cows that produce milk that is served with coffee with bovine growth hormones.

The recombinant bovine growth hormone is banned in Canada and Europe, but not in USA Where it was adopted in 1993.
The medical group estimated that between 10 and 15% of dairy farmers are using the hormone on their herds.

The Associated Press / Seattle Times, USA

Basically this is a hormone made under pressure from the Monsanto Company, which increases the production of milk.
But then, Is it organic?

The organic coffee occurred long before the arrival of Conservation International, was what is called "shade", which consists of plantarlo under trees and without additives not destroy their own environment to perform the operation.
The organic certification is not the Conservation International, but the cooperatives themselves, thus takes advantage of the certification of producers without assuming any expenses.

I invite you to no longer participate in the exploitation of southern leaving consume at Starbucks, believe us stop the lies they write in their paper.


1 comentario:

Anónimo dijo...

Thank you for posting both the original and translated versions of this article. This certainly deserves to be read. Is there anyone out there who could offer a better translation?

Suggestion for the last paragraph:

"We invite you to participate no longer in the exploitation of the South (American nations). Boycot (stop consuming) Starbucks. We don't believe the lies that they write in their pamphlets."