Top Stories

November 30, 2016

Supply Chain

Firms such as Kellogg’s, Unilever and Nestle ‘use child-labour palm oil’

Numerous multinationals including Kellogg’s, Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive, Reckitt Benckiser and Nestlé are using palm oil produced by child workers in dangerous conditions for palm oil company Wilmar, according to Amnesty International. “These findings will shock any consumer who thinks they are making ethical choices in the supermarket when they buy products that claim to use sustainable palm oil,” said the senior Amnesty investigator Meghna Abraham. A number of the affected companies said they were investigating the allegations, and would terminate Wilmar as a supplier if they were not addressed. Wilmar said it was aware of the allegations before it was contacted by Amnesty, and was already taking steps to remedy any failings. (Guardian)


Barry Callebaut targets 100 percent sustainable chocolate by 2025

B2B chocolate giant Barry Callebaut has pledged to lead the charge to 100 percent cocoa and chocolate sustainability by 2025. The world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products has launched “Forever Chocolate”, a comprehensive sustainability strategy that aims to eradicate child labour, lift more than 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty, become carbon- and forest-positive and source 100 percent sustainable ingredients in all products. A partnership with SAP, announced in June, aims to focus on supply chain traceability, specifically through a cloud-based solution for cocoa bean traceability and better sustainability data management.

The news follows Cadbury’s announcement yesterday that it plans to drop Fairtrade certification, in favour of its own cocoa sustainability programme, Cocoa Life. This summer, the World Cocoa Foundation – whose members include Barry Callebaut, Cargill, Hershey, Lindt & Sprüngli, Mars, Nestlé and Olam – launched a program designed to strengthen collaboration between the public and private sector to address cocoa sustainability challenges and help farmers adapt to climate change. (Sustainable Brands)


WWF and Sodexo cook up low-carbon meals

WWF-UK and French catering provider Sodexo have teamed up to launch a new range of low-carbon healthy meals in schools across the UK. The ‘Lean & Green’ range of sustainable meals is made up of 75 per cent vegetables, pulses and grains, and has been developed using WWF’s LiveWell sustainable diet principles in conjunction with Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow CSR plan. The two organisations also worked together earlier this year as part of a report spearheaded by the Food Ethics Council, which argued food service companies promoting sustainable food and diets are more likely to enjoy a greater long term boost to their business. Last week, frozen food producer COOK signed a deal with organic waste recycler Tamar Energy to produce energy from unavoidable food waste such as kitchen trimmings, bones and peelings. (Business Green)


EU declares war on energy waste and coal subsidies in new climate package

Europe will phase out coal subsidies and cut its energy use by 30 percent before the end of the next decade, under a new package to help the EU meet its Paris climate commitments. It package includes measures to cut electricity bills, boost renewable energies and limit use of unsustainable bioenergies. The commission says that its benefits will include a €177 billion mobilisation of public and private investment per year in the next decade. This could create 900,000 new green tech jobs and spur a 1 percent increase in GDP, the EU believes. To achieve its goal of providing 50 percent of electricity from renewables in 2030, the package will also end coal subsidies in “capacity mechanisms” that guarantee backup power reserves. (Guardian)


Boeing tax break ruled unlawful by WTO

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has given the US 90 days to drop a special tax exemption for the giant aerospace company Boeing because it amounts to an unlawful subsidy. The WTO made the order after investigating a complaint from the European Union. Tom Enders, chief executive of Boeing’s big rival Airbus, which in September was on the receiving end of a similar WTO ruling about EU subsidies – a complaint initiated by Boeing – held out an olive branch. “I continue to think that the only way out of the ridiculous series of disputes initiated by the US is to agree on a set of globally applicable rules for the support of the civil aircraft industry, which would benefit both sides of the Atlantic,” he said. (BBC)


Image source: Bacon and Collard Greens by Brian Ambrozy / CC BY-ND 2.0