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

A group of investors has urged food firms to improve their water risk managementWhy investors are concerned about water risk management 27 August 2015

A group of 60 institutional investors has written to 15 food and drink companies urging improvement in how they manage and report on water risk in their own operations and in their supply chains. Ben Cooper reports.

Mexico has introduced series of measures on to try to change consumption habitsHow soda is drawing fire from food in Mexico obesity battle 24 August 2015

Much attention has been focused on the impact Mexico's tax on soda tax introduced in January 2014 has had on consumption. Ben Cooper looks at the effect the parallel tax on calorie-dense foods has had on consumers and on food companies.

Animal welfare remains "challenging" area, Leeth admitsSustainability Watch - Smithfield Foods on new targets 11 August 2015

Smithfield Foods, the US meat group, has set out a new tranche of goals on sustainability, building on targets it laid out in 2010. Ben Cooper spoke with Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and sustainability, about the company's progress over the past five years and the launch of the new targets.

The ICI "confident" next survey will show in fall in absolute numbersConsuming issues: The war on child labour in cocoa is far from won 5 August 2015

The rise in the incidence of child labour in west African cocoa production detailed in last week's report from Tulane University is a disappointment to all those working to address the issue, including food companies. While the statistics reveal some relative improvements and give ground for optimism, Ben Cooper writes, the abiding message has to be that more must be done.

The International Cocoa Initiative pointed to rising number of children attending schoolAnalysis: Child labour in cocoa on rise but some see progress 5 August 2015

The report from Tulane University into the use of child labour in cocoa production in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, published last week, revealed a 21% rise in the number of child labourers over the past five years and a 15.5% increase in the prevalence of child labour in cocoa-growing areas. Ben Cooper examines the report which, despite the alarming headline aggregate growth, reflects some underlying progress.

Cheese among largest growth areas in Swiss organic market, according to Bio SuisseAnalysis: US-Switzerland deal another sign of blossoming international organic trade 3 August 2015

The equivalency deal on organic standards agreed between the US and Switzerland is the latest in a series of bi-lateral agreements bolstering the international trade in organic commodities and fostering the development of the organic food market. Ben Cooper reports.

A cut to guidance on sugar recommended to tackle conditions including obesityConsuming issues: Why UK must act in wake of SACN report 20 July 2015

A panel advising the UK government on nutrition has recommended halving the official guidance on the consumption of free sugars. Attention now turns to how the country's politicians will respond. Ben Cooper argues the UK government should act - but some policies are more likely than others.

MRSA found in pork on sale in UKConsuming issues: Battle against antimicrobial resistance just beginning 26 June 2015

The use of antibiotics in the rearing of animals has been a much discussed issue in recent weeks, with regulatory and corporate moves across a number of countries. Ben Cooper examines recent events in the context of the widespread concern over antimicrobial resistance.

RSPO facing industry criticism over pace of changeBriefing: Sustainable sourcing - taking supply chain push to scale 24 June 2015

To conclude just-food's management briefing on sustainable sourcing, Ben Cooper examines some of the key cross-cutting sustainability issues in agricultural supply chains and how they may influence the next steps for food companies on sustainable sourcing.

Sustainability strategies have so far focused less on sugar than on other commoditiesBriefing: Sustainable sourcing - Why focus on cane sugar supply chains set to increase 23 June 2015

The fourth agricultural commodity to be featured in just-food's management briefing on sustainable sourcing is the world's largest - sugarcane. While sugar is already a much-discussed subject in the context of the obesity debate, Ben Cooper writes, food companies are under increasing pressure to step up engagement on sugar from a supply chain perspective and scale up current sustainability efforts.

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