Agriculture, Beverages & Food

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) plans to hold a protest outside the offices of Nelson Peltz, board chair of Wendy’s fast food restaurants from March 15-18. The protest will highlight ongoing human rights abuses faced by the agricultural workers in Mexico who pick tomatoes for the chain.
Tobacco companies, which are able to vastly outspend antitobacco groups, may still be winning the marketing wars. While tobacco companies have abandoned most conventional advertising, they are using other means to get their point across. Antismoking groups, on the other hand, are now struggling to find the money to maintain even a small-scale campaign.
Bechtel, a global engineering and construction company based in San Francisco, today reached agreement with the government of Bolivia, dropping a legal demand for $50 million after a revolt over privatizing water services in the city of Cochabamba forced the company out of Bolivia in April 2000.
Sierra Leone police opened fire on a group of protestors who were demonstrating against a palm oil plantation in the southern province of Pujehun. The project is being developed by Societe Financiere des Caoutchoucs (Socfin), a French agri-business giant.
ISLAMABAD -- The Pakistani government is inviting foreign business into the country's farms, giving rise to fears that this will finish off millions of small tillers and reduce national food supply.
Trade ministers gather in Tokyo on Friday for a three-day meeting to try to step up the pace of flagging global trade talks, beset by failed deadlines and a lack of progress. Only 25 of the 145 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have been invited to send ministers to the February 14-16 "mini-ministerial". Their task: to thrash out ideas for giving a boost to negotiations, mainly on greater market access in services, industrial goods and the traditionally-thorniest subject of agriculture.
It's been ten years since British Petroleum launched an expensive ad campaign, re-branding its corporate image into the eco-friendly "BP: Beyond Petroleum." We said it then. When a company spends more on advertising its environmental friendliness than on environmental actions, that's greenwash. Three long weeks into the BP oil disaster roiling the Gulf of Mexico, CorpWatch's December 2000 skewering of its new image sadly, bears repeating.
Tobacco giant Philip Morris is undergoing a PR makeover. This Greenwash Award says the public won't be fooled.
Starbucks, the Seattle-based international coffee chain, has been accused of tax avoidance in the UK. Between 1998 and 2011 the company has made £3 billion in sales but paid out just £8.6 million in taxes on sales from its 735 stores in the country.
I'm reminded of the 1950's...TV newscasts showing clouds of DDT sprayed on a clueless public, compromising their health and contaminating the environment for decades to come, as Rachel Carson writes "Silent Spring." But the time is now, other toxic pesticides have joined the ranks in our wayward war against mosquitoes, and the Rachels of today are drowned out by a media rushing to sound the alarm, rather than report the news.