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Starbucks Malaysia: We've never provided funds to Israel or IDF

Publish date: Wed, 28 Feb 2024, 05:00 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Starbucks Malaysia today maintained that it had never contributed its profits to the Israeli government and or the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).

In a statement of facts published on its website, Starbucks Malaysia denied the matter and condemned the violence, the loss of innocent lives as well as all hate and weaponised speech.

"Regardless of that spectrum of beliefs, Starbucks has been and remains a non-political organisation.

"Neither Starbucks nor the company's former chairman, president and chief executive officer Howard Schultz, provide financial support to the Israeli government and or the Israeli Army in any way.

"Rumours that Starbucks or Howard Schultz provides financial support to the Israeli government and or the Israeli Army are unequivocally false," it said.

It also said that it is a publicly held company and as such, is required to disclose any corporate giving each year through a proxy statement.

"We do not use our profits to fund any government or military operations anywhere - and never have.

"It is also important to note that Starbucks does not have any stores in Israel."

This, as the company said, it decided to dissolve its partnership in Israel in 2003 due to the ongoing operational challenges experienced in that market.

"We believe it remains the right decision for our businesses."

It also clarified that Starbucks in Malaysia is wholly owned by a public-listed Malaysian company.

"For over 25 years, we have consistently demonstrated our commitment to serving the local community, which includes active support for local communities, government of the day, and non-governmental organisations through a range of initiatives designed to directly uplift and benefit Malaysians."

Starbucks in Malaysia is operated by Berjaya Starbucks Coffee Company Sdn Bhd, a licensee of Starbucks Coffee International Inc and owned by Berjaya Food Bhd (BFood).

On Feb 22, it was reported that BFoodposted a net loss of RM42.6 million in the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2023, against a net profit of RM35.5 million a year ago, as the boycott on Starbucks continued.

Revenue declined by 38 per cent to RM182.5 million compared with RM295.3 million garnered last year.

For the first six months period ended Dec 31 2023, BFood posted a net loss of RM23.5 million against a net profit of RM70.2 million for the same period in the financial year 2023.

Starbucks was one of the various foreign food and beverage outlets which were hit by boycotts in Malaysia following Israel's attack on Palestine.

The boycott was triggered after the Seattle-based chain sued a labour union in the US state of Iowa over social media posts supporting Palestine

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