Top Stories

June 20, 2022


Nestlé unveils UK regenerative wheat farming plan

Businesses including Mars and PepsiCo have signed up to the Prince of Wales’ new task force on sustainable agriculture, in the same week that Nestlé unveiled plans to scale regenerative wheat farming in the UK. The new ‘Agribusiness Task Force’ will form part of the Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative which already operates collaborative industry workstreams. Its aim will be to accelerate regenerative agricultural practices. Separately, Nestlé has launched a new plan to support its UK-based wheat farmers to adopt regenerative agriculture such as cover cropping, hedgerow planting and reducing pesticide use. The plan will see regenerative approaches already being trialled, improved and scaled to other locations. Nestlé said it will facilitate the scaling using the ‘Landscape Enterprise Networks’ scheme, which was created to enable businesses to coordinate locally. (edie)


Black and Asian UK workers overlooked on promotions

Large majorities of Black and Asian workers believe they have been overlooked for employment opportunities, including promotion, because of their identity. Research found Black and Asian workers citing their hairstyles and not drinking alcohol as key factors for exclusion. Additionally, 71% of employees from a Black background reported feeling overlooked for opportunities owing to their identity; 66% of employees from Asian backgrounds and 65% of workers who identified as LGBTQ+ also had similar experiences. LGBTQ+ workers also experienced greater harassment and bullying. A third of employees polled – equivalent to 6.9 million people – said they had been treated less favourably, received hostile, derogatory or negative attitudes and comments, or had been harassed or bullied owing to their identity. The research warned that the UK suffers from complacency towards direct and indirect workplace discrimination. (The Guardian)


BHP winds down thermal coal mine after failing to find buyer

Mining company BHP has pulled out of attempts to sell one of Australia’s largest thermal coal mines, choosing to run down the asset over the next eight years as it works to transition away from mining fossil fuels. The coal mine was put up for sale in 2020. BHP had planned to extend the mine’s lifecycle to 2045 from 2026 when its original licence ends. It will now close the site in 2030 after failing to find a buyer. The decision to keep the mine comes as prices for high-grade thermal coal trade close to record levels, at around $390 a tonne. Despite this, the mine is not expected to remain profitable beyond 2030 even if prices stay high. (Financial Times)*


Etsy pays reduced £128k tax despite £160m in UK sales

Online marketplace Etsy has become the latest US retailer accused of not paying adequate tax in the UK, having contributed just £128,000 in tax despite securing £160 million in sales. Esty would have been liable to pay some £7 million in corporate tax, had it booked all sales made in the UK at its local UK entity, according to campaign group TaxWatch. It follows similar tax practices from Amazon, which reportedly paid £492 million in UK tax in 2021 for sales above £20 billion. TaxWatch accused Esty of exploiting tax haven structures to reduce its tax contribution. An Etsy spokesperson said the company had “paid or accrued for any known and material tax obligations in compliance with current cross-border tax laws”. (City AM)


Tesla investor sues board over ‘toxic’ workplace culture

A Tesla shareholder sued the electric car maker chief executive, Elon Musk, and its board, accusing them of neglecting to tackle complaints about workplace discrimination and harassment, and engendering a “toxic workplace culture”. The lawsuit is the latest against Tesla, which has been accused of racial discrimination and sexual harassment in its factories. Investor Soloman Chau said “Tesla has created a toxic workplace culture grounded in racist and sexist abuse and discrimination against its own employees”. He added that the company’s “toxic work environment has gestated internally for years, and only recently has the truth about Tesla’s culture emerged”. Chau concluded that, “Tesla’s toxic workplace culture has caused financial harm and irreparable damage to the company’s reputation”. Tesla did not respond to a request to comment. (Reuters)

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