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Starbucks Purchases Ethiopia

Starbucks Purchases Ethiopia

(Addis Ababa) The Starbucks Corporation has raised the ante in the ongoing coffee wars with the acqusition of the African country of Ethiopia. The buy, for an undisclosed sum, is expected to give the coffee giant a distinct advantage over competitors around the world since a majority of the company’s beans currently come from that region.

The acquisition of Ethiopia is expected to give Starbucks direct access to at least 30% of the world’s coffee resources without the middle man. Lower cost for commodities should translate into more choices for the consumer at cheaper prices. This is the first time an international corporation has legally purchased an entire country*

What all this means for Ethiopia is anyone’s guess.

“We expect to put everyone to work producing coffee for our customers which in turn should improve the economy here,” said Sarah Bin- Latte of Starbucks.

The actual takeover will come as early as next month and, despite no announcement to relocate corporate offices, the coffee maker is realigning priorities and will establish a strong presence in Northeast Africa.

Crowds massed in Haile Selassie Square shouted slogans and burned coffee beans in protest of what they call an invasion of their homeland and the decimation of their culture by the foreigners.

“With the short exception of the Italian occupation prior to World War II, we have never been on the selling block,” said Anwar Saladin, a professor at Addis Ababa University and leading critic of the buy-out. “We were not colonized by Rome or by Napoleon and we damn sure won’t stand for this takeover by a bunch of sun-deprived yuppie executives from Seattle. It’s one thing for Starbucks to embrace fair trade agreements in the light of day and quite another to swallow up our country in the shadows of late afternoon,” he rasped.

Bin-Latte concedes that the transfer will involve some getting used to but that Starbucks is dedicated to preserving the local culture and political infrastructure.

“We are not Crusaders! We are not the Knights Templar. We don’t want to run the country. We just want to export the coffee,” she said. “We are not colonizers, only businessmen. We fully expect that everyone in Ethiopia will benefit from this full, rich experience. Let’s face it: There aren’t a lot of people eating real well here now and our presence may help relieve these social and economic ills. The investment alone should jack up the economy and we will not allow the quality of our product to be compromised simply because we have been subsequently thrust into the political arena.” 

Latte would not comment when asked if Ethiopians would soon man the thousands of Starbucks outlets worldwide.

“I cannot comment on that possibility at this time but I will say we have no agenda for lay-offs in the industrialized sector.”

Ethiopia currently ranks right up there with Colombia, Brazil, Sumatra and Vietnam as growing the tastiest coffee on earth.

Radical elements here have threatened to either destroy Starbuck installations or wait a few years and nationalize the operation. Violence toward Starbuck personnel is not expected. 

Aging financier, Daddy Starbucks could not be reached for comment regarding moves by Ethiopian dairy cows to sabotage the deal by refusing to give milk until Starbucks bails out. This morning sugar cane workers have threatened a walk-out so as to show solidarity with Saladin’s group.  

In a related development, the much publicized seizure of neighboring Somalia by Bill Gates and friends has been put on the back burner until the actual landlords/owners (if any) can be located. Warlord second and third lien holders have been the bugaboo in that potential agreement. Coastal Somalia, known to be rich in high quality, bonanza soft chips, has been coveted by computer nerds since the early Nineties. They hope to extract the micro elements through a breakthrough laser mining process that can be conducted by satellite.

– Rex Montaleone

*clandestine control of domestic economies by corporate interests has been common in emerging countries, especially in Central America and Southeast Asia, since the dawn of the 19th Century.