‘We Condemn Violence’ – Starbucks Malaysia Clarifies Stance On Middle East Conflict

Starbucks also highlighted its Malaysian ownership and over 25 years of local community support.

In a recent clarification, Starbucks Malaysia has taken a firm stance against the spread of misinformation regarding its position and actions in the Middle East conflict.

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Starbucks at bangsar south
For illustrative purposes only. Photo by WeirdKaya

In a statement, the global coffee giant emphasized its commitment to transparency and truth, responding to widespread rumors and questions about its involvement and policies.

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According to Starbucks Malaysia, while the brand started with a rich heritage rooted in the United States, it is a global company with stores in 86 markets, including over 1,900 stores across 11 Middle Eastern and North African countries.

In markets where we do business, we are proud to be a part of the fabric of the local community – working directly with local business partners who operate our stores, employing thousands of local citizens, serving millions of customers and positively impacting many others through our support of local neighborhoods and cities. 

It also said that despite varied opinions among its 400,000 global partners, Starbucks maintains a non-political stance, focusing on quality coffee and customer experience.

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Starbucks malaysia
For illustrative purposes only. Photo by WeirdKaya

Specifically addressing the Malaysian market, Starbucks highlighted its Malaysian ownership and over 25 years of local community support. The company boasts a workforce of 5,000 across 400 stores, all Malaysian, including individuals with disabilities.

Starbucks malayisa statement
Photo via FB/Starbucks Malaysia

Starbucks Malaysia condemns violence

Regarding the ongoing atrocities, Starbucks reiterated its condemnation of violence, loss of innocent life, hate, and weaponized speech.

The company also firmly denied any political agenda or financial contributions to government or military operations.

Our position remains unchanged. Starbucks stands for humanity. We condemn violence, the loss of innocent life and all hate and weaponized speech. 

Despite false statements spread through social media, we have no political agenda.  We do not use our profits to fund any government or military operations anywhere – and never have. 

Starbucks’ presence in the Middle East, managed by the Alshaya Group, spans over 20 years with nearly 2,000 stores.

Reiterates that Starbucks has no stores in Israel

The company clarified it operates in select countries within the region and has no stores in Israel, debunking rumors of its political or financial support to the country.

Starbucks malaysia statement 2

Starbucks also addressed the false claim of Howard Schultz’s financial backing to the Israeli government or military, ensuring transparency as a publicly held company.

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The decision to close stores in Israel in 2003 was based on operational challenges, not political reasons, with no current plans to reopen.

We decided to dissolve our partnership in Israel in 2003 due to the on-going operational challenges that we experienced in that market. We believe it remains the right decision for our businesses.

You can read the full statement here.

Berjaya Food, Starbucks Malaysia’s parent company suffers RM42mil loss

In a recent report, Berjaya Food Berhad, the parent company of Starbucks Malaysia, has encountered a challenging financial period, with revenue of RM182.55 million and a net loss of RM42.58 million for the quarter ending December 31, 2023.

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According to Berjaya Food’s quarterly report that ended 31 December 2023, the drop in revenue was primarily due to a boycott driven by conflicts in the Middle East.

Read our previous coverage here:

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