22 November 2018
Starbucks Coffee shops have said they would honour the offer of free tea or coffee to anyone volunteering for the Royal British Legion.
DUP Spokesman on International Development and Cabinet Office
East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell had written to Starbucks Coffee Company on behalf of constituents as it had become apparent Starbucks had excluded Northern Ireland from the offer of free tea and coffee for Poppy Appeal volunteers during this year’s remembrance commemoration.
Mr Campbell said,“Starbucks had advertised that from 1st-20th November 2018 free tea and coffee would be offered to Poppy collectors, Poppy Association organisations and cross-planters, which would be available at their stores across the UK. It had come to my attention however that Northern Ireland had been excluded.
A local DUP Councillor in Londonderry, Graham Warke had also raised the matter. I wrote to the Starbucks Coffee Company in London asking:
1. Was this an oversight or was there another reason not to include Northern Ireland?
2. Will they ensure that in any future ‘offers’ or ‘promotional decision’, Northern Ireland will be included from the outset, in order to avoid a controversy such as this one?
The Starbucks reply said:
“We recognise the oversight for not formally extending this offer to those volunteering in Northern Ireland. Our business in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is operated by the EE Group who were able to act quickly when it was brought to their attention and honour the free tea or coffee offer to anyone volunteering for the Royal British Legion in recent weeks.”
Mr Campbell said,
“I am pleased Starbucks recognised the oversight and honoured the free tea or coffee to those in Northern Ireland who tirelessly give their time to support the poppy appeal. What was in offer in the rest of the United Kingdom should automatically include Northern Ireland from the outset.
I am also pleased that Starbucks has now said “We recognise we haven’t been clear in this instance in ensuring this partnership was applicable across the United Kingdom, we will be considering how we better communicate for future partnerships to ensure we extend offers to Northern Ireland where we can.”
Mr Campbell concluded “Given the nature of the reply in this instance, it does show the value of making such complaints.”