2/13/08 How Green Is Your Love?, CSR Wire. Can we send chocolates to our sweethearts in good conscience? The launch of the International Cocoa Verification Board promises to bring greater social and environmental responsibility to the West African chocolate trade. A multi-stakeholder initiative bringing together industry, government, NGOs, unions, and academics has been convened by the nonprofit supplier auditor Verité. The diverse board is establishing a certification process to monitor and verify that cocoa is produced in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire sustainably and free from child labor that has plagued the sector. The initiative has drawn comments from experts both impressed with its scope and concerned about its limitations from the likes of John Tepper Marlin of CSRNYC, Rodney North of Equal Exchange, and Susan Smith of the National Confectioners Association. 1/31/08 NYS Restaurant Association Sues to Stop Diners at Fastfood Chains Finding Out How Many Calories They Are Eating, Crain's NY. The New York State Restaurant Association has filed a federal lawsuit today to block Mayor Bloomberg's effort to require the large chains like McDonald's - about 10 percent of NYC restaurants - to list calorie information on their menus clearly. The law suit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan was filed 10 days after the NYC Board of Health passed the new rule, effective March 31. Comment: The NYSRA website does not disclose who their members are on the "Who We Are" site or the NYC site. Do the chains know what the NYSRA is doing in their name? 1/9/08 McDonald's -- Much Maligned, Adrian E. Tschoegl, Wharton School, argues that McDonald's serves as an engine of economic development - providing training, encouraging entrepreneurship and serving as a model of cleanliness and organization. Comment: The Invisible Hand can take a company quite far in making the world a better place, as well as creating some cruel workplaces and environmental damage. Companies don't have to be pursuing CSR to deserve credit for their positive contributions. 1/2/08 Child Labor in the Cocoa Industry, written by Rodney North of the Equal Exchange Coop (the largest Fair Trade group in the United States) in early 2007, makes the case that chocolate manufacturers are not doing enough about child labor in the cocoa industry. 11/30/07 Excess Deaths Map, Worldwide, National Geographic. These maps show where people die of preventable diseases. Food and beverage companies could cntribute to lowering these deaths through more nutritive products. 11/29/07 Penny Foolish, NY Times Op-Ed. McDonalds and Taco Bell agreed to pay migrant workers an extra penny per pound for picking tomatoes. But the deal has fallen apart because Burger King refused to go along with the agreement. 11/25/07 Kids Will Too Eat Healthy Food, AP. As foods in school were switched over time to become healthier, the demand did not fall off. 11/21/07 Turkey Prices Rise 12 Percent in 2007, Des Moines Register from American Farm Bureau Federation survey. The price of a turkey dinner has risen 11 percent since 2006, but after adjusting for inflation the cost has declined since 1986 when the first survey was undertaken. 11/21/07 Child Labor in the Cocoa Industry, International Rights Advocates. The chocolate industry has been dominated by sweet people like the Quakers in Britain and Milton Hershey and family in the United States. But harvesting and processing cacao beans can be a bitter workplace. 11/15/07 Eco-Friendly Chips from Frito-Lay,NY Times. This is great for the workplace and community. Now we need some product choices for the graying population with doctors' orders to stay away from salt and fried food. 11/08/07 Big Food Cos., Supermarkets Said to Risk Climate Disaster, Common Dreams. Exploitation of biofuels and palm oil in Indonesia will reportedly release up to 15 billion tons of carbon through the clearcutting of trees and drying up of the peatlands. 11/06/07 Consumers Rate Whole Foods as Most Socially Responsible Company, BBMG via CSR Wire. An online panel of more than 2,000 consumers surveyed by the Global Strategy Group rates Whole Foods Market #1 (22%), Newman's Own #2 (19%), Wal-Mart #3 (18%), Burt's Bees #4 (17%). Ben & Jerry's, General Electric and Johnson & Johnson tied for #5 (16%). 11/05/07 - Sodexho, Inc. Appoints New CSR Leader, CSR Wire. Sodexho owns Wendy’s, Boston Market, the Cheesecake Factory and Harvard Food Services. 11/05/07 PepsiCo Reorganizes into Three Units, Crains NY. The company, based in Purchase, N.Y., will from FY 08 split Americas operations into food (45 percent of revenue) and beverage (30 percent) units. John Compton will head up the Americas food division, Massimo d'Amore the Americas beverage unit.The third division is PepsiCo International, headed by Mike White, which includes UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa units. 11/01/07 The Dannon Company Awards Second Annual 'Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants', CSR Wire 10/31/07 Ben & Jerry's First Social Audit 1989, ICCOPR. 10/31/07 Verite Selected For Key Role in Improving Labor Conditions in Cocoa Production, CSR Wire. 10/29/07 Groups Announce “Dump Soda” Campaign, Center for Science in the Public Interest and Common Dreams. 10/29/07 Consumer Groups Shut Out of Congressional Hearings on Deceptive Meat Packaging, Food and Water Watch. 10/28/07 The Unnecessary Suicide of the Organic Food Movement, Mallen Baker, Business Respect #115. 10/25/07 Mayor Bloomberg Tries Again on Calorie Listing, NY Times. The Mayor has sought to require calorie information for menu items readily available at major restaurant chains.
Pepsico and the Environment. With its reorganizationbehind it, Purchase, NY-based Pepsico, starting in FY 08, may be able to do more with its largest single division, its Americas food operations. The division has reduced the environmental impact on local communities of its Frito-Lay factories, which is terrific for the workers and the community. Now it would be wonderful if Pepsico could could give us more food options. I teach from 6 to 9 pm many evenings and the vending machines all belong to Pepsico. They do not cater to professors seeking to stay away from salt, processed sugar or anything fried. How hard would it be to include raisin-and-nuts packages? More: 11/16/07, Blogspot, John Tepper Marlin,Pepsico's Food Opportunity.