‘We are in business to inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time’
Following Donald Trump’s recent ban on immigration, protests have broken out across the world, with high profile companies and figures taking a stand against the controversial policy prohibiting people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.
The latest organisation to make their stance known is Starbucks, with the chain’s chairman and CEO, Howard Schultz, publishing an open letter publicly condemning Trump’s policies.
‘I write to you today with deep concern, a heavy heart and a resolute promise’ the letter read. ‘We are living in an unprecedented time, one in which we are witness to the conscience of our country, and the promise of the American Dream, being called into question.
He went on to announce several actions that Starbucks would be taking, putting emphasis on the fact that they would ‘neither stand by, nor stand silent, as the uncertainty around the new Administration’s actions grows with each passing day.’
He first explained that the company would continue to support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and that Starbucks workers would continue to receive access to healthcare, before broaching the subject of Mexico and their plans to build bridges not walls.
‘We have been open for business in Mexico since 2002, and have since opened almost 600 stores in 60 cities across the country, which together employ over 7,000 Mexican partners who proudly wear the green apron,’ he wrote.
‘Coffee is what unites our common heritage, and as I told Alberto Torrado, the leader of our partnership with Alsea in Mexico, we stand ready to help and support our Mexican customers, partners and their families as they navigate what impact proposed trade sanctions, immigration restrictions and taxes might have on their business and their trust of Americans.’
He then went on to talk about the new immigration ban and his plans to help refugees affected:
‘We have a long history of hiring young people looking for opportunities and a pathway to a new life around the world. This is why we are doubling down on this commitment by working with our equity market employees as well as joint venture and licensed market partners in a concerted effort to welcome and seek opportunities for those fleeing war, violence, persecution and discrimination. There are more than 65 million citizens of the world recognized as refugees by the United Nations, and we are developing plans to hire 10,000 of them over five years in the 75 countries around the world where Starbucks does business.’
‘Starbucks has and will always stand for opportunity’ the letter concluded, ‘opportunity for our young people who are working to land their first job in the 75 countries where we do business, opportunity for our farmers who care so deeply for the highest of quality coffee we offer to customers all around the globe, and yes, opportunity for those who come to America in search of their own fresh start – whether that is with Starbucks directly, or through our suppliers or our partner companies.’
‘If there is any lesson to be learned over the last year, it’s that your voice and your vote matter more than ever. We are in business to inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time – whether that neighborhood is in a Red State or a Blue State; a Christian country or a Muslim country; a divided nation or a united nation. That will not change. You have my word on that.’