Top Stories

November 10, 2015


Supply Chain

Cargill & Mondelēz team up on cocoa sustainability

Agricultural trader Cargill has teamed up with Mondelēz’s Cocoa Life programme to improve the livelihood of smallholder cocoa farmers in Indonesia and drive sustainability in their farming practices. Six thousand farmers and their families will benefit from the programme, which started in October 2015. It is supported by a grant from the Millennium Challenge Account, which has match-funded the investment of Mondelēz and Cargill. This is part of a national sustainable cocoa production initiative led by development foundation Swisscontact in Indonesia. Andi Sitti Asmayanti, Southeast Asia Cocoa Life manager said: “Through Cocoa Life, Mondelēz International plans to reach 40,000 farmers in Indonesia and we believe this project will be a major step forward in reaching this commitment, and supporting cocoa farmers and communities to thrive.” The program will deliver training in good agricultural practices to improve knowledge and boost productivity, while improving environmental practices to reduce the carbon footprint of cocoa farming. (Eco-Business)

Corporate Reputation

SeaWorld to phase out killer whale display in San Diego

The SeaWorld theme park in the US state of California is to phase out controversial public displays by killer whales, its chief executive has said. Joel Manby announced that 2017 will be the last year of the show in San Diego. He said that the move was part of a strategy that seeks to reverse falling visitor numbers at the company’s 11 parks across the US. The company has faced intense criticism by activists who say keeping the whales in captivity is cruel and unnecessary. Its shares have halved in value since the release of the critically-acclaimed 2013 documentary Blackfish, which highlighted the impact of captivity on orcas. In October, Californian authorities prohibited SeaWorld from breeding animals in captivity, calling into question the future of the park’s popular killer whale attraction. The San Diego show will reportedly be replaced with a new orca experience in a “more natural” setting but it is not clear what exactly that will involve. (BBC)


Celebrity chef rejects Morrisons’ ‘pathetic’ wonky veg trial

UK supermarket Morrisons’ efforts to encourage customers to buy misshaped vegetables have been branded “pathetic” by celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. The broadcaster has criticised the food waste he says is caused by supermarkets’ excessively exacting cosmetic standards. In response, Morrisons undertook a trial of selling wonky” courgettes alongside so-called ‘class one’ courgettes, but found they sold much more slowly. Fearnley-Whittingstall branded the trial “pathetic”, pointing out that Morrisons had sold the ugly veg at the same price as the “gleaming perfect ones”. Morrisons rejected the chef’s criticism, but said that before the end of the year it would begin permanently selling lines of wonky potatoes, carrots, onions and parsnips at cheaper-than-normal prices across its stores. (Guardian)


Apple chief warns against ‘dire consequences’ of UK surveillance bill

Apple’s chief executive has sharply criticised surveillance powers proposed by the British government. Speaking during a visit to the UK, Tim Cook insisted that companies had to be able to encrypt communications in order to protect people. “We believe very strongly in end-to-end encryption and no back doors. We don’t think people want us to read their messages… Opening a back door can have very dire consequences.”  The draft investigatory powers bill, unveiled by the UK home secretary, Theresa May, makes explicit in law for the first time the powers for security services and police to hack into and bug computers and phones. These authorities would be allowed to access records tracking every UK citizen’s use of the internet without any judicial check. Cook signalled, however, that there would be an outcome which he and others would find favourable, predicting: “You can’t weaken cryptography. You need to strengthen it. You need to stay ahead of the folks that want to break it.” (Guardian)

Image Source: Seaworld Orlando Shamu by Loadmaster (David R. Tribble) / CC BY-SA 3.0