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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:There are 178 Starbucks within 5 miles of my home.



If you live in America or Canada you can find out how many are within 5 miles of your home too. And how many locally owned cafes there are also.



http://www.delocator.net
br>


I have mixed feelings. I'm a bit intimidated but perhaps not as scared as I should be. Can someone liberlize me and explain why I should be scared?



I don't actually drink coffee but the whole concept of "large company = bad, small company = good" is a bit lost to me. I understand that some large companies do HORRIBLE things (Sweatshops, etc... ) and they should be held responsible and deemed "BAD"...



But I also suspect that it'd be EASIER for a small mom and pop store to have less morals becuase there'd be no reprocussions if they got caught. If the local cafe in my hood ground up babies for their coffee I think it'd be much easier to get away with that if Starbucks did it. And I LOVE Ben and Jerry's. Those guys bust their butts for social issues. At least they used to. And they're widespread and international and therefore evil right?



Educate me.



biggrin

EDITED_BY: NYC (1138219068)


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Beth
Beth

Miss Whippy
Location: Cornwall & Oxford
Member Since: 3rd Jun 2003
Total posts: 1262
Posted:There isnt a Starbucks, McDonalds, Burger King or any other 'chain' store, except a Spar, within a 5 or even a 10 mile radius of where i live. Hopefully it will stay like that forever and ever smile

Aim high and you'll know your limits, aim low and you'll never know how high you could have climbed.

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ado-p
ado-p

Pirate Ninja
Location: Galway/Ireland
Member Since: 13th May 2004
Total posts: 3882
Posted:Written by: bluecat




except seel out to unilever, which is Not Good:

this is the first of many pages about unilevers bad-ness



i can only hope they are working from the inside to fix it...





Thanks for that, i think



ubbcrying



Im stunned.


Love is the law.

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Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 9th Mar 2004
Total posts: 4693
Posted:when i was playing risk the other day i TOLD someone to take my continent, does that count?

thank god i dont drink coffee, solves so many ethical problems wink


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:NYC, your point is valid.

HOWEVER... A large corporation can do TREMENDOUS amounts of damage. A little mom-and-pop store can't.

Starbucks, which, to its credit, has started behaving more socially responsibly of late, basically has employed slave labor to get many of its coffee beans. Two of the most brutal crops in the world are coffee and cacao (chocolate). They employ overworked slaves who are intimidated by torture to work insane hours under brutal conditions (by "slave" I mean someone who works for US$12 a month or so and who is maneuvered into a situation where it is virtually impossible to quit the job and go elsewhere). Child labor is standard practice.

The idea behind supporting small business is that small businesses can compete against each-other, but in the process, they also have to compete for laborers. And it's tougher for a small business to pull off mass international foul-play.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:Er Coleman... I wasn't complainaing about a starbucks flavour. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever been in a starbucks, and I hate coffee. I was ranting about Ben & Jerry's. Since its Vermont native I would have expected all the flavour's to be in new england and then regional variety, but apparently the UK is being special depsite cost! **

But yes, it is probably a bad thing to complain about, on the other hand I really like that in new york I can get food imported from any number of cultures. I want to be able to go anywhere in the world and buy red lancashire, guava paste, octopus sashimi, papaya yogurt, blackberry juice, hijiki, lasagna flavoured crisps, dulce de leche, sweet and sour cabbage, etc, etc. I think the local foods of different regions are important, and certainly having things like the desserts local to every given region is going to be nigh impossible! But I like the idea of being able to buy the basic foods from everywhere, because I like lots of different things! (Admittedly mostly latin, mediterranean, eastern european, british, and japanese).

**perhaps because of the takeover??


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:sorry kyrian - misunderstood ya back there.

my points still stand but they don't apply to you or your comments.

you, nyc and i should get together and have a big misunderstanding party (though if we ever tried we'd probably all turn up on different days at different times due to myriad misunderstandings) wink


cole. x

p.s. what is this b+j's uk-only wonder-flavour you speak of...?


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:Written by: Doc Lightning

HOWEVER... A large corporation can do TREMENDOUS amounts of damage. A little mom-and-pop store can't.




No, but 178 little mom and pop stores CAN do a tremendous amount of damage. I mean take Chinatown (here in New York)... That's tons of little mom and pop stores and GOD ONLY KNOWS where the 5 year old kids are chained up making that stuff.

I feel like if the mom and pop stores in Chinatown were held under the same microscope as Starbucks we'd find many more problems. Starbucks knows they can only go SO far before public backlash will cost them in the pocket. The mom and pop stores don't have websites and zealous liberals watching their every move. wink


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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:which is where consumer choice comes in ubbidea

if a single independent store is trading in a way that you do not like, you can take your custom elsewhere.

if a bunch of independent stores (all in the same sector of the retail industry) are all trading unethically then i think they would likely be suject to the same kind of scrutiny as the large chains are.

there is a very good example of just such a scenario here - see drew's recent discussion thread on ethical toy production.


what kind of large scale damage are you thinking about that these independent stores are collectively doing that is comparable to the large chain stores?

i guess that that without these large chains of stores, 'fair trade' might not even work as the opportunities that large companies have due only to their massive profits (e.g. investing in community development projects and the like) are not available to small independents.

take coffee for example - one could say "unless the small stores grouped together to create buying consortia, the competition between them may prevent their proprietors from paying the higher fair trade prices at all".

which is a good point but the reality is slightly different since most small shops do not buy direct from the suppliers (coffee farmers) and so the supply chain would thus be larger (it would require intermediaries) who would then be responsible for trading fairly with both suppliers and buyers...


unfortunately, as i understand it, there will always be losers in the capitalist system since it is purely based on competition and making money - and that means that the losers tend to be the ones that have the least money in the first place.

anararchy - its the the only way to live i reckon biggrin

unfortunately, to be a success it would rely on members of the society being inherently ethical and fair - so much for that then... frown


cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:Written by: coleman

if a bunch of independent stores (all in the same sector of the retail industry) are all trading unethically then i think they would likely be suject to the same kind of scrutiny as the large chains are.



See, that's where I disagree. I think Mom and Pop get the benifit of the doubt. I've never heard of a protest/boycott of a mom and pop and I'm surrounded by yelling liberals. wink


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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:get your point NYC, so you think that mom and pop are better off to sell their store, work for 22 pennies/ hour at starbucks, investing their wealth in starbucks-stock and therefore (at the side) save the planet?

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 9th Mar 2004
Total posts: 4693
Posted:at least they're saving the planet, oh no, wait, was that sarcastic? wink

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Prometheus
Prometheus

Diamond In The Rough
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Member Since: 30th Jun 2002
Total posts: 459
Posted:There's only 5 Starbucks within 5 miles of my home, but 1 every miles still seems excessive.

Dance like it hurts; Love like you need money; Work like someone is watching.

Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you DO criticize them, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes.

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:Written by: FireTom

get your point NYC, so you think that mom and pop are better off to sell their store, work for 22 pennies/ hour at starbucks, investing their wealth in starbucks-stock and therefore (at the side) save the planet?



Wow. You've so completely missed any of the points in this thread. I'm impressed. ubblol


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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:so tell me/us NYC: what is the point?



I understand that the big=bad-equasion not always works (also told you that "social sponsoring" is sometimes for marketing purposes only and the donated money will be fully tax-deductable). Also that big corporations are under steady control (of the media), therefore they can't do as bad, as propably the mom/pop-store on the corner could (even though I doubt that any scandal would be harming "Starbucks" in a long term - mankinds memory is very very bad, if you look at shell or exxon or daily scandals of politicians and unkept promises)... Next I understand that by franchising out from big corps, the local shops get swallowed and therefore we might end up with politically correct "Starbucks" and maybe "SanFranCoCo"... but the local shops will be gone. Working at those big corps is modern slave labour and as it's all about crankin' out the coffee - personal contact and interaction from human to human will be lost.



For these reasons alone I would rather try to support my local shop/ restaurant and would in times of trouble advise them (without branding or trademarking) to join efforts with other shops to enable more competitive prices and/ or goods from fair-trade.



Once the local shops are gone it's not easy to re-establish them. Those empty spaces got eaten by VLM's (very large multinationals) to control the market first and by the time it is under control, you will see that the number of shops will be streamlined. The commercial spaces will be used by small offices, or service providers - but mom and pops little restaurant will not come back.



So I ask you again: what is the/your point?

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1138559536)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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bluecat
bluecat

geek, level 1
Location: everywhere
Member Since: 15th Dec 2002
Total posts: 5300
Posted:wow. i actually think NYC has missed the point of one of his own threads

ubblol



or is this not social discussion any more...?

( wink )



I will almost always buy local given a choice. even if that choice means it is much more limited. and i HAVE boycotted a 'mom and pop' store, for replacing all their chocolate with nestle chocolate(and it wasn't just me, it was part of an organised boycott which was successful in persuading the store*grr* SHOP to amend their decision, and in fact to start stocking organic and fair trade chocolate)



mostly for the reasons given above by tom clap because i beleive in direct contact between people: faceless corporations limit uman contact all the way from the corporate buyer/grower part to the 'barista'/customer part. when your main aim is to make money, and not to provide a comfortable and comforting 'coffee experience'(god i hate that phrase, but unfortunately it describes only too well what i mean ubblol) then you do not have your customer at heart. and that, as capitalism has said for many, many years, has always been wrong(as in, the customer is always right)



NYC you work in a place which, i hope, promotes the building of sustainable relationships between people, and therefore by extension between customers and clients, businesses and producers etcetcetc. Starbucks does not. a sustainable relationship is not one in which the big company forces growers into poverty, and then promotes itself as 'fair trade' with not only no proof, but no endorsement from the fair trade mark: not difficult to obtain if you fulfill most of their requirements.



i have much, much more of this rant, and could extend it to supermarkets, oil companies, food manufacturers, drugs companies etcetc... but i have a feeling you won't listen, cause i'm not getting the point... frown



ah well.



off to have a fair trade organic chai

wave


Holistic Spinner (I hope)

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Okay, going to play devils advocate.



I noticed that slave labour was equated to US $12 a month, and child labour was brought up by Doc. Now, what is the cost of living? Because if it is $8/month (which in some countries we accuse of having slave labour it is) that is not bad. Child labour, well, it depends to tell you the truth. I know farms that depend on the kids here, and they still have to go to school and maintain grades when they would rather be working the farms to help their families.



Forced to long hours by jobs they can not quit...not right in any country, including that it happens in our own...all the time.



I'm sorry, but I refuse to base judgements on such things when the basis for comparison is skewed by jaded media and when it happens in our backyard without the bat of an eyelash.



Now...in my city here there are far more mom and pop shops, or local chains than Starbucks. Although within 2 miles there are 3 Dunkin Donuts. A thing I am fine with because I am not a Starbucks fan since I worked for them. They treat their employees like crap in all honesty. However, I have seen mom and pop shops do horrible things to their employees, have worse health standards, etc. And I agree with NYC that they are far more overlooked than anything corporate. There are a couple in my area that are just grotesque to walk into.

However, if the market couldn't sustain it, they would close some of those down. If all of the "competition" was drivien out by them, then they would have a HUGE monopoly lawsuit on their hands which isn't as easy to keep tied up in court as civil suits.



And I am supposed to be a salesperson as part of my job, and I will most certainly tell people to try other means before an overpriced product...every time.



I think there is still the old "Stick it to the man." mentality that comes out anytime a corporation becomes large to the public eye. *shrug*



In truth I've noticed that when corporate moves in someplace prices tend to steady, although I will say the corporate ends up having the cheapest price when all is said and done. Current living standards simply don't support the rates of inflation that I think alot of the small competition causes with each other.



Just what I've noticed in my speck on the globe though.



*Edit: I forgot, in the US all major companies are required by tax law to donate a percentage of their annual gross to a philenthropic cause or else face alot more in fines. If you check into each company you can actually see what it does for "the good of mankind". Does it outwiegh the damage they do? Well, that is a pretty subjective question that should probably remain rhetorical.

EDITED_BY: Pele (1138567943)


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Pele - I get your point on the "slave/ forced-labour" topic. In many 3d world countries the choice is child prostitution, being a beggar, or work. There is no school and/ or the family cannot survive without EVERY part of it working and making money. AS long AS the conditions are good, it's the better choice to have them work, but trade in their dignity, or becoming a criminal.

As to the monopoly-lawsuit: look at Microsoft? *errm*

Marketing strategy: First you kill the small business and establish a market dominating position, next (with deminished competition) you buy out the few remaining and raise the prices for your products. To overcome the lawsuit you keep a few "competitors" alive but lower the standards of their products (see corel draw and macromedia freehand, see microsoft/ apple), so people either turn to the "right" brand or otherwise - well, otherwise doesn't matter because it's the same holding anyways...

Small competition raises prices for sure, but if it's kept in check by the big coorporations - why not keep both? I just tend to be the one who turns to the smaller one as much as possible, to balance the hype that the big ones receive... *shrug* for say I choose an AMD, over an Intel...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Written by: FireTom

Small competition raises prices for sure, but if it's kept in check by the big coorporations - why not keep both? I just tend to be the one who turns to the smaller one as much as possible, to balance the hype that the big ones receive... *shrug* for say I choose an AMD, over an Intel...



I agree completely with keeping them both, and when speaking of local coffee shops I tend to go to the mom-n-pop around the corner rather than one of the DD's. I am sorry if I gave the impression that I meant to close them down, as I didn't mean that at all. I was just attempting (poorly it seems) to point out one of the benefits of the major company invasion...actually levelling out the otherwise out of control pricing some smaller places have.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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