Saturday, November 1, 2008

Starbucks and Bono: an alliance for Africa

Bono and Starbucks have teamed up to help fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria- the big disease killers in Africa. Bono and Bobby Shriver founded (RED) in 2006 to provide money for the Global Fund created previously to fight these killers.

Bono and Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, presented the news this week in New Orleans to 10,000 Starbucks employees and store managers. The sale of selected holiday beverages will benefit the fund between November 27 and January 2. Five cents will go to the Global Fund for every drink sold. The Starbucks drinks that will help the fund include the peppermint mocha twist, gingersnap latte, and expresso truffle. And these "(RED)" products will not cost extra. Also, Starbucks money will continue to support the Global Fund after January 2nd. Bono said that "you can't measure the true success of a company on a spread sheet."

More than 4,000 people die every day in Africa because they can't get the basic medication they need to fight the big-killers. Life extending anti-retro-viral medications for AIDS (2 drugs) cost only 43 cents per day.

Starbucks buys its coffee beans from these African countries (alphabetically: Cameroon, Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zaire. It is opening farmer support centers in Ethiopia (where coffee was first discovered) and Rwanda next year, which will also help the local economies there.

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