Sustainability Watch

Sustainability Watch

We put the latest CSR moves under the microscope.



Sustainability Watch - Smithfield Foods on new targets 11 Aug 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.


Sustainability Watch: Mars aims to support farmers with new fund 19 Jun 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.


Sustainability 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.


Sustainability Watch: McDonald's antibiotics move could be seminal moment 19 Mar 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.


Sustainability Watch: The US packaging challenge 26 Feb 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.


Sustainability Watch: Dave Stangis, Campbell Soup 30 Jan 2015

In the first Sustainability Watch of 2015, Dave Stangis, vice president of public affairs and CSR at Campbell Soup Co., speaks with Ben Cooper about the company's approach to sustainability and the recognition it has brought.


Sustainability Watch: Roberto Ciati, Barilla 29 Oct 2014

Large publicly-owned multinationals, such as Unilever and PepsiCo, are widely praised for showing leadership in corporate sustainability. In this month's Sustainability Watch, Roberto Ciati, sustainability director at Italian pasta, sauces and baked goods group Barilla, discusses how private, family ownership can inform a progressive approach to sustainability.


Sustainability Watch: Deanna Bratter, WhiteWave Foods 17 Sep 2014

WhiteWave Foods, the US-based organic and natural foods specialist, was spun off from dairy giant Dean Foods last year. Deanna Bratter, senior manager of corporate sustainability at WhiteWave, spoke with Ben Cooper about the company's approach to sustainability as an independent operation.


Sustainability Watch: How will US biogas push affect food industry? 28 Aug 2014

An initiative launched under the auspices of President Obama's Climate Action Plan will see the government foster a major expansion of biogas use. Ben Cooper looks at the implications of the US government's Biogas Opportunities Roadmap for US food manufacturers.


Sustainability Watch: Ceres' latest report on food 30 Jul 2014

Gaining Ground, a report produced by sustainability thinktank Ceres and investment analysts Sustainalytics, compares the performance of 613 US companies and looks at comparative performance across different sectors. Ben Cooper asked Andrea Moffat, vice president of the corporate programme at Ceres and author of the report, how the food and beverage sector is faring.


Sustainability Watch: Supply chain focus comes down to four-letter word 27 Jun 2014

Among all the sustainability issues food companies are addressing, agricultural supply chains are month by month becoming an ever more predominant focus. In his fiftieth Sustainability Watch feature, Ben Cooper reflects on why.


Sustainability Watch: Bill Guyton, World Cocoa Foundation 30 May 2014

The cocoa sector has arguably spawned more than its fair share of sustainability initiatives and programmes. Ben Cooper asks Bill Guyton, president of the World Cocoa Foundation, what sets the recently-launched CocoaAction, a plan aimed at "building a rejuvenated and economically viable cocoa sector", apart from what has gone before.


Sustainability Watch - Andy Challinor, IPCC 30 Apr 2014

For those with an interest in the issue of climate change - and in truth that's approximately 7bn people - 2014 is an extremely significant year.


Sustainability Watch - Mondelez International 31 Mar 2014

Phrases like ""low-hanging fruit" and "win-wins" have made the rhetoric around sustainability sound a little well-worn but Mondelez International's new drive on healthier snacks, sustainable sourcing and reducing its environmental impact has attracted Ben Cooper's attention. He interviewed Mondelez's Christine McGrath, the executive leading the strategy.


Sustainability Watch: Trust and the triple bottom line 20 Feb 2014

Reflecting their growing significance to businesses across all sectors, issues around sustainability, climate change, food security and the like are now much discussed at the World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual get-together in Davos. Ben Cooper reports.


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