Daily Media Briefing 4th September

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Consumers, Daily Media Briefing, Environment, Supply Chain

Top Stories

September 04, 2013

Supply Chain

Greenpeace accuses RSPO of failing to set industry standards

According to a new report by the environmental charity Greenpeace, the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is in part responsible for the palm oil industry’s destruction of 300,000 hectares of forest in Indonesia.  The report comes as the RSPO is set to meet for its first European Summit in Germany.  Greenpeace said that “RSPO standards are inadequate, poorly enforced and offer palm oil consumers no guarantee that the oil they buy has been produced responsibly.”  According to the analysis by Greenpeace, the Singapore firm Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil trader, is one of the RSPO members with the largest areas of identified deforestation.  Although the firm has denied this allegation, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund sold its investments in Wilmar in 2012 owing to deforestation concerns.  Areeba Hamid, a Greenpeace forest campaigner, said that “brands must find out where their palm oil comes from” and that “the only solution for palm oil consumers and producers is to go beyond the RSPO.” (Eco Business)

Tesco criticised for misleading horsemeat ad

The UK Advertising Standards Agency has ruled that an advert which was run by the UK supermarket retailer Tesco in February 2013 “implied that all retailers and suppliers were likely to have sold products contaminated with horsemeat.” The advert, which was entitled “What burgers have taught us”, said that “the problem we’ve had with some of our meat lately is more than burgers and bolognese.  It’s about some of the ways we get meat to your dinner table.  It’s about the whole food industry.”  An independent butcher filed a complaint that the advert unfairly criticised suppliers who had not been involved in the supply of mislabelled products.  Tesco said that the firm was “disappointed with this decision” as “we think our customers understood that our aim with the advert was to set out the action we had taken in relation to the horsemeat crisis and to acknowledge the fact the issue serious consequences not just for Tesco, but for the whole food industry.” (The Guardian)

US retailer allows customers to trace origins of products

The US retailer All American Clothing has implemented a system to allow its customers to trace the origins of its jeans.  The company, which states that it only uses US sourced materials and labour, has developed its corporate strategy around its promise that all of its products are “made in America.”  The new system allows customers to log onto All American’s website and enter the trace number listed on the jean label, which brings up a Google map of where their jeans are made and which farms produced the cotton.  Customers can also learn about the manufacturing process that goes into each pair of jeans, during which the cotton is milled and woven and stitched into clothing.  (Triple Pundit)


Wonga: We’re not pushing consumers over the edge

Errol Damelin, the chief executive of the UK payday loan provider Wonga, which also operates in Canada, South Africa and Poland, has said that despite the firm’s high annual interest rate of 5,853 percent and profits of over £1 million per week, his company is not pushing consumers into financial difficulties as the loans are too small to create a significant problem.  Wonga allows customers to extend their loans only twice and interest is not accrued after 60 days, to prevent debts spiralling out of control.  This follows accusations of irresponsible lending by UK MPs and the Church of England and an announcement in June 2013 by the UK Competition Commission that it would conduct a review of the industry.  Mr Damelin has rejected the notion that Wonga’s customers are vulnerable and said “this isn’t about people on breadlines being desperate.” (The Times*)


New framework encourages businesses to invest in water scarcity projects

The US organisation, the 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG), has called for “informed, collaborative decision making between the public and private sectors” to address global water challenges by investing in projects which tackle water scarcity.  2030 WRG has released a new report, Managing Water Use, to coincide with this week’s World Water Week, which aims to encourage financial and political support and provide insights into the options for tackling water scarcity.  2030 WRG has estimated that there will be a 40 percent gap between the supply and demand for fresh water by 2030. The report, which was prepared with the UK professional services firm Arup, introduces a framework to compare and evaluate water scarcity initiatives, allowing business leaders and policy makers to understand the associated costs. (Edie)


*Requires subscription