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The Global Influence of Starbucks

Regardless of whether you are a fan of Starbucks or coffee at all, I think everyone would at least raise an eyebrow if they knew the depth of one coffee company’s reach. Starbucks goes above and beyond to get their signature brew to your cup and may even be going as far as influencing the world in the process.

A recent article in the Seattle Times entitled “Starbucks Changing The Way Costa Rican Farmers Grow Coffee” states that, "Starbucks forced Costa Rica to go back to its roots of producing high-quality coffee.” The article goes on to say, “Starbucks "brought real knowledge of the production of coffee," Vargas says.”It was the first company that paid attention all the way down to the plant. It brought security to the coffee (market)."

In another article entitled “Starbucks Partners Pay Special Visit To Autistic Children At Alia Early Intervention Centre” on Albabwa.com says, “Starbucks partners spent the day with autistic children at Alia Early Intervention Centre today. The visit comes as part of Starbucks commitment to contribute positively to the community it operates within.”

Now this is a great thing and I’m glad at least some of the people are happy. But it’s not all good news out there.

Another article on Forbes.com entitled “Starbucks vs. Ethiopia”, states “The country that gave the world the coffee bean and the company that invented the $4 latte are fighting over a trademark, says Fortune's Stephan Faris.” According to the article, Ethiopia, the country that is the birthplace of coffee, set off a battle with the coffee giant by strategically attempting to trademark the names of its regions. “By seizing control of these brands, the Ethiopian government planned to force those who sell its coffee into licensing agreements, eventually obtaining a larger share of the sales.”

In 2007, China eyed a Starbucks move into their neighborhood with suspicion. The article entitled, “Starbucks Faces Imperial Eviction in China”, says “Web uproar could force coffee chain out of Forbidden City.” It seems that a news anchor voiced concern about Starbucks presence in the Forbidden City. "I support them coming into the Chinese market, but it's a matter of respecting and protecting our own culture as Chinese," he said in an interview.

Who knew that Starbucks was more than just that oasis on the corner for coffee lovers everywhere? With all of this global interaction I can only give sage advice handed down by mothers and grandmothers since the beginning of time; Starbucks, you had better mind your manners and play nice out there!

Starbucks Changing the Way Costa Rican Farmers Grow Coffee http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004316303_apwastarbuckscostarica.html

Starbucks vs. Ethiopia
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2007/03/05/8401343/index.htm

Starbucks Partners Pay Special Visit To Autistic Children At Alia Early Intervention Centre
http://www.albawaba.com/en/countries/Bahrain/224713

Starbucks faces imperial eviction in China
http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/01/18/bloomberg/sxstarbucks.php

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