7 Responses to “Coffee And TV”

  1. 1 theWeir February 23, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    hmmm. there’s a question.

    Too often, small, local coffee shops struggle to make ends meet if they are based on 100% fairtrade/ethical/organic produce (or as close to 100% as they can). you might ask if sustainable coffee shops are (ahem) sustainable in our culture.

    I hope they are.

    So perhaps we are to influence the big fish to swim in a particular way by boosting the proportions of sustainable produce they sell? Does the collective voice get louder that way?

  2. 2 thestatethatiamin February 23, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Yup, those are all the things I wrestle with. I started avoiding Starbucks wherever possible after reading No Logo. I occassionally find myself there with clients, but I usually try to steer us somewhere else.

    I don’t want to be a Pharisee and I also don’t want to not give people a second chance – after all what is life without grace?

    That said, I still feel a bit uncomfortable about the whole thing. Is it just like a corporate “greenwash”?

    At the end of the day we can create unhelpful witch hunts or guilt driven consumerism (or lack of). In reality, I just want to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with my God.


  3. 3 brunettekoala February 24, 2009 at 10:07 am

    So what’s the issue with Starbucks? I know when I was in high school I preferred Costa, but now they do lots of fair trade, use recycled materials for their packaging, do some great things for the local community (like the books for kids), have put money into helping people in the countries where they get their coffee beans and chocolate from.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather suppport a local coffee shop (my favourite one being Kilau – local produce, organic, fair trade and local artists!)

    But as you say, we can create unhelpful Witch Hunts.

    I still remember the day I got on a bus and someone saw I worked for a particular clothing store. I seriously got a 3rd degree, and they’d believed all the hyped up journalism, and actually they didn’t have their facts right. Lots of stuff had been twisted by idealists who don’t understand the complexities of the issue.

  4. 4 brunettekoala February 24, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Idealists is the wrong word, can’t remember the actual word I wanted to use there!!!

  5. 5 thestatethatiamin February 24, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Thanks BK – I can probably guess which shop you used to work for if you got that sort of attitude from someone.

    I think the likes of “No Logo” helped to shine the spotlight on certain organisations and their practices and, hopefully, meant that practices had to change and be improved. Hopefully, it raised the issue in the consumers’ minds and showed us all the pressure we can raise through our purchasing (or boycotting) practices.

    I also wish the whole thing was easier and more transparent. I don’t sit in judgement on those who shop in certain places or wear certain labels – it’s just I might not wish to associate myself with certain things and I’m just trying to assess whether I should now actively be supporting fairtrade, etc through purchasing in the likes of Starbucks or whether I should maintain a voluntary embargo wherever possible???

    The last thing I want is another raft of unhelpful sanctimonious rules and regulations – and yet I want to act justly with a clear conscience and an informed world view.



  6. 6 brunettekoala February 25, 2009 at 1:38 am

    I wish that too. And I guess I have the same struggles. But as a loyal Starbucks customer I was like ‘Oh pants…!’ when I read this post, as I’d never heard of any issues with Starbucks for years.


  7. 7 thestatethatiamin February 25, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Thanks – that’s kinda my issue – am I holding onto a view that is based on outdated information?

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"The priest in the booth had a photographic memory for all he had heard. He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called "The State That I'm In"". From "The State I Am In" by Belle and Sebastian
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