Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 20, 2013 12:42 PM
Continuing a positive trend of transparency in the food industry, Starbucks' latest campaign will focus on the quality and sourcing of its coffee beans, as sustainability and health concerns continue to motivate consumers to ask, "Where does this come from?"
Launching Sunday during the Emmys, the new documentary-inspired TV ad shows the heritage of the cafe chain's Arabica coffee beans. "The bean matters, because you cannot roast in quality, you cannot roast in complexity," the voiceover says as black-and-white footage of coffee plantations and the roasting process runs.
Longer-form videos, dubbed “origin stories,” will run on the Starbucks website in October for four of its 20-plus coffee brands, including Veranda Blend, Pike Place Roast, French Roast and Ethiopia. The campaign will also include print ads that will run in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the New Yorker, among others, while the TV spot will also be show in a handful of "higher-end" movie theaters.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on September 12, 2013 02:56 PM
Chipotle keeps sticking its neck out for "sustainable," locally produced food—now with an animated-short-film attack on "Big Food" and with the promise of more expansive and aggressive efforts to come.
"The Scarecrow" is a 3-1/2-minute film that Chipotle Mexican Grill released online today that depicts what the brand calls "a dystopian fantasy world" in which "all food production is controlled by fictional industrial giant Crow Foods. Scarecrows have been displaced from their traditional role of protecting food, and are now servants to the crows and their evil plans to dominate the food system."
"Dreaming of something better, a lone scarecrow sets out to provide an alternative to the unsustainable processed food from the factory"—an alternative that looks an awful lot like the Chipotle business model that emphasizes local sourcing and food as natural as possible.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Dale Buss on July 17, 2013 05:49 PM
Chobani yogurt, one of the country's fastest-growing CPG brands, is the latest to come under scrutiny from an activist group over its use of GMOs.
GMO Inside, an organization led by environmental group Green America, is calling on the Greek-yogurt segment leader to stop marketing its products as "real" and "natural" until it stops using milk from cows that are fed genetically-modified feed. The move represents one of the first attempts by US GMO activists to target dairy brands in addition to the cereal, bakery and grocery brands that have previously come under fire.
"So much of the GMO crops are going to animal feeds, so if we could change the way this is happening it could help to convert a lot of cropland back to non-GMO production," Elizabeth O'Connell, campaign director for the GMO Inside NGO, told Advertising Age.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 4, 2013 04:41 PM
Following global anti-GMO marches and the discovery of unapproved GMO wheat in an Oregon field, the latest blow to Monsanto has been dealt by its own governance. The company, which manufactures genetically-modified organisms announced that it would cease its GMO lobbying efforts in Europe as it faces increasing opposition from the European Union and local farmers.
"We are no longer working on lobbying for more cultivation in Europe," said Brandon Mitchner, representative for Monsanto’s European branch, Tageszeitung in an interview, according to RT.com. "Currently we do not plan to apply for the approval of new genetically modified crops. The reason is, among other things, low demand of the farmers.” Monsanto Germany spokeswoman Ursula Luttmer-Ouazane added, "We've understood that such plants don't have any broad acceptance in European societies. It is counterproductive to fight against windmills."
Most recently, Austria, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, Poland and Italy have joined the EU in wanting to ban the cultivation of GM crops, invoking an environmental protection provision knows as the "Safeguard Clause." Monsanto competitors Bayer CropScience, BASF and Syngenta have already pulled out of the German market due to widespread opposition.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 31, 2013 01:36 PM
The US Department of Agriculture is investigating the appearance of unapproved genetically engineered wheat plants on a farm in Oregon. The seeds, developed by Monsanto, are resistent to Roundup herbicide and were tested in large swaths across the US from 1994 through 2004 but are not approved for mass production.
The farmer in Oregon tried, unsuccessfully, to kill the wheat that was growing like a weed in all the wrong places. Mindboggled, he later sent samples to Oregon State University for testing, which found the Roundup-resistant gene. The resistant strain apparently escaped the protocols set up by US regulators to control it, which has set off concern among environmentalists and consumers alike as the US is currently embroiled in a controversial GMO labelling battle.
"These requirements are leaky and there is just no doubt about that. There is a fundamental problem with the system," Doug Gurian-Sherman, scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists told Reuters. Indeed, a 2005 report by the Office of Inspector General for the USDA criticized government oversight of field tests of GMO crops and listed 21 "major incidents of noncompliance" from 1995 through 2011, five of which involved Monsanto.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 27, 2013 01:16 PM
When Tami Canal created a “March Against Monsanto” Facebook page back in late February, she would have been happy to get a couple of thousand people to come out and make some noise against the seed-manufacturing giant that has been under fire for creating genetically modified plants.
Instead, hundreds of thousands of Camal’s compatriots came out to march in over 52 different countries to show their displeasure with Monsanto, according to the Associated Press. They dressed up as bananas and devils and carried signs with slogans such as “Real Food 4 Real People” and the punning “Give Bees a Chance.”
It was also a sign that Canal's movement had arrived with global support for Occupy Monsanto as a brand-specific off-shoot of the Occupy Wall Street brand of activism.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 15, 2013 06:35 PM
Three companies control most of the seed business in the world and one of them is Monsanto, the Missouri-based agricultural company infamous for producing genetically-modified crops and genetically-engineered seeds. The company's resistant seeds were of top concern in a recent patent lawsuit against an Indiana farmer. Not surprisingly, the Supreme Court came down on the independent farmer and declared Monsanto a win.
The farmer, Vernon Hugh Bowman, purchased Monsanto soybean seeds that are resistant to weed killer and planted them one year. It was his actions after that year that got him into trouble. “Bowman v Monsanto revolved around what Bowman contended was a legal loophole in his license agreement with Monsanto: farmers are allowed to sell the second-generation seeds to grain elevators, which, in turn, are permitted to sell a mixture of undifferentiated seeds as ‘commodity grain,’” Forbes reports. “In other words, he maintained he was legally allowed to buy Monsanto’s seeds cheaper from a grain elevator rather than directly from the company.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 11, 2013 12:57 PM
The United States is currently the world's largest market for genetically modified organisms (GMO)—foods including soy milk, soup and breakfast cereals (made with soybeans), corn and other biotech crops manipulated to make them more resistant to insects and pesticides.
The debate over GMO labeling for organisms genetically engineered by introducing changes into their DNA structure continues to grab the attention of consumers and brands, exacerbated by the November 2012 defeat of Prop 37, a mandatory labeling initiative introduced on the California ballot. Large corporations including PepsiCo and Monsanto spent millions of dollars against Prop 37 and it was defeated.
Now Whole Foods Market is picking up the gauntlet and committing to full GMO transparency. Whole Foods—which made the announcement at the Natural Products Expo West—has committed to labelling all products in its U.S. and Canadian stores that contain genetically modified organisms by 2018.Continue reading...