Howard Schultz on Welfare & Poverty

Starbucks CEO; independent candidate for President until July 2019


FoodShare: Distribute unsold Starbucks items to food banks

In May, coffee giant Starbucks made headlines by announcing it would stop throwing out unsold food items and instead, redistribute the unsellable-but-still-edible products to nearby food banks in refrigerated vans. According to the goals of the new program, called FoodShare, Starbucks would provide five million meals in the first year and nearly 50 million by 2021, when it expects to reach a 100 percent donation rate. It's great that Starbucks is trying to reduce food waste, because the amount of food we Americans toss out has become a national epidemic.

Food waste is a national epidemic. Approximately 40 percent of food in the U.S. gets tossed out. It's is also an environmental issue: more than 97 percent of food waste ends up in landfills--33 million tons of food each year. Food waste is a pocketbook problem, a poverty, hunger, and health problem.

Source: 2016 Veepstakes: Huffington Post, "Reducing Food Waste" , May 9, 2016

Small loans to coffee farmers in Rwanda & Costa Rica

We committed to increasing the amount of money we make available for loans to coffee farmers from $12.5 million to $20 million per year by 2015. Recently, we had built our second farmer support center in Rwanda--the first has been operating in Costa Rica since 2004--where our own partners help farmers improve the size of their harvests and the quality of their crops.

The equation that guided Starbucks--a commitment to balancing people and profits.

"Starbucks is here to stay in Rwanda," I stated. "We are deeply committed to Rwandan coffee and Rwanda. We are going to be buying Rwandan coffee for many years." It was our shared responsibility, Starbucks' and the farmers', to ensure both fairness and quality, which would increase the amount we were able to purchase, the price we could pay, and the profit the farmers could realize.

Source: Onward, by Howard Schultz, p.289-91 , Mar 27, 2012

Bought cows for coffee co-op farmers in Rwanda

I felt the need to reiterate our commitment to helping the co-op's farmers be the best they could be. Harriet from the Fairtrade Foundation smiled and posed a question to the half-dozen female farmers in the small room. Harriet asked a young woman the final question of the session. "Can this lady tell us what is her dream for her family?"

"She would like to make an income so she can buy a Friesian cow so she can get more milk for her family.

"What will a cow do, just so I understand?"

Friesians have enough milk for consumption and more milk to sell.

"We're going to try and get you a cow."

A single cow, I was later informed, costs $500.

A government official who was accompanying us said to me, "but there are so many others."

How much could one person, or for that matter one company, really do? I did not have an answer other than that doing nothing was unconscionable

Source: Onward, by Howard Schultz, p.291-3 , Mar 27, 2012

Donates 8-day-old coffee beans to food banks

Starbucks managers have the power to allocate donations to local causes like ballet and opera companies, AIDS organizations, food banks, schools, and PTA's. In every city, all eight day old coffee beans are donated to food banks. Store managers also provide coffee for fund-raisers. One store in Seattle gives half its profits to the Zion Preparatory Academy, an African-American-run school for inner-city children. In fiscal 1996, we gave away more than $1.5 million in cash and kind, equaling about 4 percent of our net earnings. Since we don't exploit these actions for public relations, a lot of our customers don't even know about them.

Community giving is a policy to which we've been committed since we began in business. We do it because it's right and because it makes Starbucks partners proud to work here.

Source: Pour Your Heart Into It, by Howard Schultz, p.281 , Jan 6, 1999

Other candidates on Welfare & Poverty: Howard Schultz on other issues:
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Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
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Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (L-NY,R-MA)
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2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
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Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
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Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)

Page last updated: Dec 16, 2019