just-food authors and correspondents

Ben Cooper

Ben CooperBiography

Ben Cooper is just-food's contributing editor and specialises in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, policy issues and sustainability. He holds MAs from Cambridge University and the University of London, respectively in Social and Political Sciences and Social Policy.

He joined the just-drinks editorial team in 2000 and today works across both just-drinks and just-food, while also writing occasionally for just-style.

In addition to his regular features, Ben has written numerous in-depth management briefings on issues such as alcohol policy, sponsorship, the Fairtrade market, the use of food colourings and environmental issues facing the clothing industry.

He also writes regularly for Ethical Corporation magazine which specialises in the corporate social responsibility field.

He lives in London where he also works as a professional singer.

Articles by Ben Cooper

UK Responsibility Deal formed to tackle rising obesityConsuming issues: UK Responsibility Deal must address credibility gap 20 May 2015

A report has criticised the UK's Public Health Responsibility Deal, a set of voluntary programmes that has seen industry work with government and public health professionals to try improve the country's health. Ben Cooper argues opponents of the scheme should not automatically see the report as vindication but insists the Deal has work to do address the report's findings.


Chocolate maker Mars backs labelling of added sugars in USConsuming issues: Why Mars' sugar call should be welcomed 14 May 2015

Campaigners would contend companies do not often make progressive moves on issues of public concern until pressure has been exerted on them to do so. In the food sector, there is a fair deal of historical evidence to support this, so moves like the one Mars Inc has made on the labelling of added sugar in the US are somewhat rare.


De Vries defended absence of minimum price under UTZ schemeSustainability Watch: UTZ explains why scale key to progress 13 May 2015

Last year was record-breaking for the UTZ sustainable farming programme and certification scheme. Being able to provide companies with a scalable way to source certified sustainable commodities has been critical to its progress, as UTZ markets director Daan de Vries explained to Ben Cooper.


The French government is pushing for uniform front-of-pack labelsIn the spotlight: France's big step to uniform FOP labels 17 April 2015

France's new health bill, which subject to two further votes could be ratified later this year, includes provision for a voluntary colour-coded front-of-pack nutritional labelling scheme. The debate this has sparked, Ben Cooper writes, mirrors closely that seen in the UK, with food manufacturers sternly opposed to the use of colours.


"It seems perfectly legitimate for them to look at pressures placed on suppliers to major food manufacturers"Consuming issues: Living by a (grocery) code 26 March 2015

Codes governing the relationships between retailers and manufacturers have made headlines in the UK and Australia. However, recent headlines in the UK have shone a spotlight on dealings between manufacturers and their suppliers - and Ben Cooper mulls whether the scrutiny could move towards that part of the supply chain.


NGOs welcomed McDonaldSustainability Watch: McDonald's antibiotics move could be seminal moment 19 March 2015

Campaigners have welcomed McDonald's announcement on antibiotic use in chickens but are concerned that the move is confined to the US. Ben Cooper discusses whether the fast-food operator's decision could spur more action on both sides of the Atlantic.


Does code give suppliers optimism over relations with retailers like Coles?Analysis: Australia moves a step closer to protecting suppliers 11 March 2015

Australia is set to see the introduction of a code overseeing relations between suppliers and retailers. Will the country be a fairer place for manufacturers to do business? Ben Cooper reports.


UK organic sector enjoyed another year of growth in 2014Analysis: Optimism in UK organic industry 2 March 2015

After some rocky years, the UK organic sector has reason to be cheerful again, with sales rising in 2014 against the backdrop of a declining overall market. Ben Cooper finds out why there is optimism among those in organic.


Wal-Mart received some credit for work with suppliersSustainability Watch: The US packaging challenge 26 February 2015

The degree to which structural factors are inhibiting food companies from making faster progress on using recycled material in packaging and other aspects of sustainable packaging has been highlighted in a new report published by campaign groups As You Sow and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Ben Cooper reports.


US government set to face intense lobbying from industryConsuming issues: Why US Dietary Guidelines report deserves praise 24 February 2015

With a call for nutrient taxes and linking the impact of diet on the environment, the advisory committee's recommendations for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans has been met with criticism by parts of the food industry. Ben Cooper argues the committee deserves praise.


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