the Beans on Chiswick’s Caffeine Kings
Does Chiswick's cafe society come
at too high a price?
There has been
much discussion recently about Chiswick’s coffee shops, in particular
the seeming desire for Starbucks to take over high road and it’s
supply of caffeine. The recent acquisition of the two Coffee Republic
outlets has sparked indignant outrage from certain local residents
who feel that the American giant Starbucks is not playing fairly.
However, Starbucks makes no bones about their policy to ‘cluster’
their coffee houses with the aim to put the local man out of business,
in-fact their tactics are so well known they have been the butt
of jokes in such illustrious productions like the Simpsons and Austin
certainly not the first place where residents are opposed to Starbucks,
in Primrose Hill, locals successfully rejected plans for Starbucks
to open in their ‘village’, they too have high rents and they too
wanted to support their local traders. In fact the anti-Starbucks
brigade stretches far and wide and has even prompted people to start
websites on the subject.
There are four
main players in the Coffee House arena, Starbucks being the biggest
with Coffee Republic, Caffe Nero and Costa Coffee being its competitors.
Caffe Nero recently made a failed bid to buy out the struggling
Coffee Republic chain but didn’t have funds – Starbucks did and
so bought a total of 14 Coffee Republic sites, two of which are
on our High Road. This will bring the number of Starbucks in Chiswick
raised has been the ethics surrounding coffee trading practices.
Coffee is produced in some of the world’s poorest nations, Ethiopia
amongst them. Residents are concerned that that farmers get a fair
price for their coffee and can make sure of this by demanding Fair
Traid coffee, Oxfam approved brand that is sold in Starbucks amongst
On the subject of coffee trading ethics, Cliff Burrows Managing
director of Starbucks UK said in a letter to The Observer “Starbucks
is committed to improving the lives of coffee growers. We want to
be highly regarded not only for the quality of our coffee but for
championing practices that produce social, environmental and economic
benefits for coffee growers.
In addition to having Fair Trade coffee available for UK customers,
Starbucks pays on average $1.20 per pound for coffee. We are not
interested in buying poor-quality coffee or coffee priced at a level
that will not support the sustainability of the industry. Also,
we collaborate with Oxfam America, CEPCO (Oaxacan State Coffee Producers
Network) and the Ford Foundation to increase the supply of high-quality
fair trade coffee.”
Love them or hate them it certainly looks like Starbucks is here
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Notice served on Caffe Nero