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Starbucks leadership won’t talk to me about Prop 37, the GMO labeling initiative…

Starbucks leadership will not talk to me about their position on Prop 37, the GMO labeling initiative. Starbucks is a member of the Grocery Manufacturer’s Assoc (GMA); the GMA is leading the fight to defeat Prop 37 — they are against GMO ingredients being labeled on food. I’ve exchanged several emails and two phone calls with Starbucks customer service staff, who cannot state the Starbucks policy on labeling GMOs. I spoke to a “supervisor” today who assured me that they valued my opinion. I reminded him several times, as I did in the previous phone call and numerous emails, that I wasn’t sharing my opinion, but that I was soliciting their opinion of GMO labeling. The conversation was pleasant enough and I know the mid-level supervisor is not to blame for the wall that is put up between consumers and leadership. I included in my email and on the supervisor phone call today–which was being recorded, I was told–that we are a true Starbucks family, we go nearly every day, we look for the closest Starbucks when we travel using our Starbucks phone app, we drink it at home, etc etc. That I appreciate the organic food choices they have made available now and that much of the packaging is recyclable. And that yes, I know that they do not knowingly use GMO ingredients. That’s all fine and dandy. BUT, what I want to know is: what is the position of the Starbucks leadership on GMO labeling? Am I to assume that by association–as a member of the GMA–that Starbucks too is working to defeat Prop 37? I asked to speak to someone in the legal dept; no can do, said the supervisor. I asked to speak to a senior manager in customer service. Nope. It turns out that leadership doesn’t take calls from a citizen and a concerned customer. When I ascertained that I was being recorded, I said, “so Starbucks is willing to lose a loyal and long term customer, simply because I am asking a question about their philosophy?

So, there you have it. Not only do I still want to know more about Starbucks stand on Prop 37, but I would like to know why I cannot share in an intelligent conversation with a corporate leader about this.

Is someone in the Starbucks corporate office willing to reach out? Or are you truly willing to lose a loyal customer?

Robin Mallery

Robin Mallery

Robin Mallery is passionate about food! Starting from where and how it's grown, to how far that food travels to the dinner table, to how it is prepared and savored...Robin blends shopping, cooking, and eating tips with her unique Kitchen Zen and mindful meals approach to enjoying real food.

While you are waiting for her to finish the upcoming book, "Kitchen Zen: The Journey to Nourish Body and Soul in Our Changing World", you can find Robin's sporadic blog posts here or on FaceBook.
Robin Mallery

5 Responses to “Starbucks leadership won’t talk to me about Prop 37, the GMO labeling initiative…”

  • Arjuna:

    Might I humbly suggest you call the corporate center, and stay away from the public service front end
    the company. You can contact their Marketing arena as a start…

    Thank you for looking into this.

    I wonder what Wholefoods position is on this. I’ve noticed they claimed to use non-GMO products, but if I look at the ingredients in the warm food bar, and the grab n go sandwiches, they contain Canola (New Canadian Oil – Rape Seed) which is a Monsanto Round-Up Ready resistant product. Clear Genetically Modified…

  • Thank you Arjuna,

    I appreciate your comment. You don’t happen to know the phone number for the Marketing director at corporate SB, do you?



    PS. Whole Foods has some organic packaged under their name, and the parent companies are the big Corporate Food Machine companies. I personally do not trust their products to be from quality sources and/or GMO free. And anything with soy lecithin, which is in practically everything as a “stabilizer”, is a GMO product. Sheesh.
    robinmallery recently posted..Starbucks leadership won’t talk to me about Prop 37, the GMO labeling initiative…My Profile

  • michi:

    Thanks for looking into this with Starbucks. I am also an AVID starbucks participant for years. Daily coffee in the morning through the grocer, coffee drinks at their retail location, double shot light, food, etc . Even the small single pods! I travel overseas a lot, and let me tell you, Starbucks is a welcome sight in China. However, what a disappointment if they do not support Prop37. I have been researching online and could not find an answer, but it seems clear. Looks like I am changing my coffee supplier. Keep posting if you find more information!

  • Greg Vinson:

    Hey Robin,

    I came across your site while looking for Starbucks’ policy on GMOs (just like you), and want to say thanks a lot for doing this; great job!

    I totally agree with you about Whole Foods, which there are many reasons to avoid besides this big one. It seems likely they either train their employees to lie about the GMOs which are abundant throughout the store, because someone did a pretty good 10 minute youtube documentary where they went into stores with a hidden camera, asking many employees the policy, and the majority assured them Whole Foods never sells any GMO products; a blatant lie, although the employees might simply be repeating what their right wing, lying owner has passed down. He is a scumbag and should never be supported.

    Anyway, thanks again; I applaud your efforts; we will win in the end; hopefully before Monsanto and cohorts destroy all traditional agriculture.

  • Eric:

    You have a great page, it is to bad that we do not have much control over the food market since we are the ones that buy the food and eat it. Keep on fighting the good fight
    Eric recently posted..Protein Supplements with Regular WorkoutsMy Profile

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