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

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.


Mars to use Fairtrade-certified cocoa in Mars bars on sale in UK and IrelandBriefing: Sustainable sourcing - Certified schemes underline consumer demand for sustainable cocoa 22 June 2015

In the fifth part of just-food's management briefing on sustainable sourcing, Ben Cooper examines how consumer demand for certified sustainable cocoa has fostered corporate action to improve the living standards of their agricultural suppliers and make their raw material supply chains more sustainable.


Mars: "WeSustainability Watch: Mars aims to support farmers with new fund 19 June 2015

Reflecting not only the increasing emphasis food companies are placing on their agricultural supply chains but on supporting smallholder farmers specifically, Mars and Danone have jointly launched the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming. Barry Parkin, chief sustainability officer and health & wellness officer at Mars, spoke with Ben Cooper about the initiative and the positive impact the founding companies hope it will bring.


GMOs dominate debate around sustainable soyBriefing: Sustainable sourcing - Soy to remain in the GMO firing line 18 June 2015

In the third section of just-food's management briefing looking at sustainable sourcing, Ben Cooper asks whether discussion of the role genetic modification (GM) plays in the soy sector is a critical debate or a distraction from more important sustainability issues around deforestation and its consequences.


Should more be done, faster, on sustainable palm oil? Briefing: Sustainable sourcing - Change on palm oil too slow for some 17 June 2015

A group of major consumer goods companies and investors have publicly called on the Roundtable on Responsible Palm Oil (RSPO) to strengthen its standards following mounting criticism of the multi-stakeholder platform. This has left the RSPO pondering whether it can afford to continue to move at a pace that keeps less ambitious companies engaged or whether it should allow more progressive members to set the agenda, Ben Cooper reports.


Cocoa sustainability coming to the fore Briefing: Sustainable sourcing - Step change in industry engagement on cocoa 16 June 2015

The first section of our management briefing examining how the food industry is working to make agricultural supply chains more sustainable looks at cocoa, a commodity facing grave challenges but now receiving increased and concerted attention from companies following the launch of the CocoaAction collective initiative a year ago.


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.


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