Politically Correct Coffee Gets Creamed
Wed Nov 6, 7:30 AM ET
BERKELEY, Calif. (Reuters) - Too little, too latte.
Berkeley voters on Tuesday poured cold water on a ballot measure that would have made their California city the first in the nation to mandate "politically correct" coffee -- deciding nothing should come between a thirsty consumer and a cup of mocha-java.
Berkeley's ballot Measure O sought to slap tough new restrictions on the city's many cafes, bars and restaurants by requiring them to sell only coffee that was organic, grown in environmentally friendly conditions, or "fair trade" -- meaning growers are paid at least $1.26 per pound.
But with coffee shop owners facing up to six months in jail for selling the wrong brew, city voters soured on the measure and it trailed by almost three to one.
Supporters of "Fair Trade" coffee had hoped to win victory in Berkeley, saying the city's liberal electorate would back their drive to pay more for coffee and protect rural agricultural workers from wild swings in commodity markets.
But the coffee campaign provoked a sharp reaction from major retailers including Starbucks Corp., Peet's Coffee and Tea Inc. and the National Coffee Association, which spent thousands of dollars on mailers in an attempt to sway voters their way.
What's next? Where do those wacky liberals get the energy to come up with this stuff? (pun intended)