Seattle is a world center for coffee roasting and coffee supply chain management. Related to this, many Seattle-area people are coffee enthusiasts and they maintain a coffee culture in Seattle's many coffeehouses.
People in Seattle consume more coffee than in any other American city; one study stated that there are 35 coffeeshops per 100,000 residents and that Seattle people spend an average of $36 a month on coffee. It is nearly impossible to walk past a single block in a commercial area in Seattle without walking past at least one coffee shop. Coffee drinkers can get coffee at a local sidewalk stand, parking lot, tiny coffee houses, big coffee houses, drive-through, and even delivery.
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells in an effort to produce energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.
Historically, people secured food through two methods: hunting and gathering, and agriculture. Today, most of the food energy consumed by the world population is supplied by the food industry.
The food industry is a complex, global collective of diverse businesses that supply much of the food energy consumed by the world population. Only subsistence farmers, those who survive on what they grow, can be considered outside of the scope of the modern food industry.
The food industry includes:
Howard Behar is former president of Starbucks Coffee Company International and the author of It's Not About The Coffee: Leadership Principles from a Life at Starbucks.
He started working at Starbucks in 1989 when the company had just begun to venture outside the American northwest region. Initially serving as vice president of sales and operations, he grew the retail business from 28 stores to more than 400 by the time he was named president of Starbucks Coffee International in 1995. Under Behar’s leadership, Starbucks opened its first location in Tokyo in 1996. Following this historic opening, over the next three years he introduced the Starbucks brand across Asia and the United Kingdom. After a two-year hiatus, he returned to Starbucks as President of Starbucks North America until his retirement in March 2007. He has been a director of the company since 1996.
The Starbucks Workers Union is a union formed by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) to organize retail employees of Starbucks. The union has members at Starbucks locations in New York City; Chicago; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Cincinnati, Ohio; Quebec City; Bloomington, Minnesota, and Omaha, Nebraska.
On May 17, 2004, Starbucks's workers at the 36th and Madison store in midtown Manhattan organized the first Starbucks barista union in the United States. The union drive had its origins in barista's complaints that a starting wage of $7.75 an hour was not a living wage in New York City and that Starbucks refused to guarantee regularity of hours per week. The union has also joined with Global Exchange in calling on Starbucks to purchase at least 5% of the store's coffee from fair trade certified sources. The 12 workers submitted union cards to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a certification election. Prior to the election, Starbucks filed an appeal with the NLRB, asking that the election be extended to several stores, not the single store that filed for an election. The NLRB agreed to review the appeal and impound the ballots at the Madison Avenue store. The IWW subsequently withdrew the election petition because the appeal could cause a several-year delay in the validation of the election. Starbucks claims the union withdrew due to a lack of interest by Starbucks workers. The IWW usually does not get involved in the NLRB election process, but rather focuses on winning incremental demands on the shop-floor through the practice of "Solidarity Unionism." On this basis, the organizing drive continues at Starbucks locations across the world.