Look Who’s Lurking at the Bottom of Your Coffee Cup…

I recently dove into the world of coffee to see what’s going on in the supply chain, since our rainforest was originally cut down for coffee plantations.

Traveling much of the year to tell our story, Starbucks is often my office, and I’ve been appreciative of happy baristas (who have decent benefits) who serve me a uniformly good Americano. But one day I picked up a notification about their environmental partner, Conservation International and my heart sunk below my muddy boots. From my last post you can see that CI is also partnered with Monsanto, and I have witnessed and heard stories of the distress that has caused for poor rural communities. Among other things, they plant genetically engineered forests as part of their “Forest Mosaic” program, using toxic chemicals that flow into the water system and soil, changing the landscape for eons in ways more devastating than the original slash and burn farming. That, and bio-piracy for their allies…

I actually had the opportunity to meet and speak with Starbucks’ Director of Environmental Impact at a conference this week, and invited him to come see what the impact of their partnership is, in Brazil. Perhaps they just didn’t know what their partners were really doing…

So I asked my Facebook Friends “Does it matter to you, if a business you may often buy from, is partnered with an NGO who is actively partnered with Monsanto?”

This was some of the response I received. It looks like it matters.

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