Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 25, 2012 03:50 PM
Fast-food brands aren't going to get out of the meat business any time soon. But Burger King wants to be the first big U.S. fast-food chain to at least do that with chicken and pigs that don’t spend their lives caged up.
The plan is for the 7,200 Burger Kings across America to be using 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2017 and also only buy pork from “suppliers that can demonstrate documented plans to end their use of gestation crates for breeding pigs,” according to a press release.
The animal welfare announcement comes as the chain is promoting the chicken strips on its new U.S. menu in a celeb-laden (now adding Steven Tyler? Update: yes, Tyler) advertising campaign.Continue reading...
in the spotlight
Posted by Abe Sauer on February 20, 2012 07:02 PM
On Friday, Apple's week of bad news from China got the proverbial icing on the cake in the form of an initial report from The Fair Labor Association about Apple's manufacturing partners. The report had a number of points but the single bite the media latched on to was "tons of issues."
From its lost iPad trademark to working conditions to a smoldering conspiracy theory about the brand punishing The New York Times, Apple stands on the verge of flipping from the brand we love and hold up as an example to emulate, to the brand we love… begrudgingly.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 20, 2012 04:35 PM
As McDonald's looks to buff up its brand perception by responding to critics of its animal products sourcing, another US-based brand is under fire for its sourcing of animal products.
The North Face outdoor apparel brand confirmed to the Telegraph in London that it purchases goose down feathers from California's Allied Feather & Down, the world's leading supplier of down to the garment industry — which primarily sources its down feathers from foie gras producers in Hungary, who force-feed geese in a process deemed cruel by animal rights activists.
A North Face rep didn't deny knowledge of the source, tellng the Telegraph reporter, “All of the down we are supplied by Allied Feather is a by-product of the food industry which, as the largest purchaser of goose product, drives the practice of force-feeding. We are working with our partners to identify alternative long-term sources of goose down that is not a by-product of force-feeding.”Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 20, 2012 11:51 AM
In honor of Presidents Day in the U.S. today, here's a look back at McDonald's 2005 Super Bowl spot, "The Lincoln Fry," which featured a likeness of Abraham Lincoln found in an iconic McDonald's French fry and a viral campaign that included a fake blog.
Seven years later, McDonald's is trying to be Honest Abe with more corporate transparency in a bid to boost its brand perception, including being more open about its treatment of animals, as the cover of Ad Age this week attests. Read our coverage of McDonald's transparency moves below:Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 16, 2012 01:53 PM
In the ongoing news of worker abuse and suicide at Apple's top eight suppliers in China, with Foxconn Technology Group's factories most prominent in the glaring international spotlight, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) has begun its on-site inspections of conditions at factories at Apple's behest, and the initial reports are better than expected.
"The facilities are first-class; the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm," commented Auret van Heerden, president of the FLA, after visiting two Foxconn factories in Shenzhen in southern China and another plant in the central city of Chengdu with a contingent of 30 FLA inspectors. "I was very surprised when I walked onto the floor at Foxconn, how tranquil it is compared with a garment factory. So the problems are not the intensity and burnout and pressure-cooker environment you have in a garment factory. It's more a function of monotony, of boredom, of alienation perhaps."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 14, 2012 04:01 PM
McDonald's is taking another step to mollify critics as it agrees to push its pork suppliers to stop confining sows in small pens. These "gestation stalls," as explained above, are "not a sustainable production system," the chain said, and there are alternatives that "are better for the welfare of sows."
The move is the latest by McDonald's to engage some of its many critics, demonstrate concern about issues such as animal welfare where it's deemed possible for the business, and make some changes. Recently, for example, McDonald's decided to stop using ammonium hydroxide in its burgers after celebrity chef Jamie Oliver criticized the use of the filler ingredient as "not fit for a dog."
McDonald's announced its move in conjunction with the Humane Society of the U.S. The stalls confine adult female hogs whose offspring are raised and slaughtered for bacon and sausage, giving the sows enough room only to stand up and sit down. They're among the practices criticized by Chipotle on Sunday in its lengthy ad during the Grammy music awards.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 13, 2012 07:06 PM
Apple may be loved by many. But the brand that Steve Jobs built has been plagued by reports of abusive conditions at Foxconn and other factories, prompting protests at its stores and online. Online lobbying by consumers spurred Apple CEO Tim Cook to clamp down on third-party factory conditions in China and other overseas locations by joining forces with the Fair Labor Association to monitor its contractors and suppliers, making it the first technology company to sign on a participating company with FLA.
A Change.org petition was started by Mark Shields, a lifelong Apple customer, who wrote that he was "shocked to learn of the abusive working conditions in many of Apple's supplier factories," and has since received more than 250,000 signatures.
A parallel petition calling for ethical iPhone manufacturing by corporate accountability lobbying group SumOfUs.org garnered another 50,000 signatures and both groups supported protest events last week and delivery of signed petitions at Apple stores in Bangalore, London, Washington, DC, San Francisco and Sydney. SumOfUs, however, isn't convinced that FLA can be trusted.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 6, 2012 07:27 PM
McDonald's USA released a video today addressing its animal welfare practices and standards, following animal rights and food activists' complaints over its poultry contractor compliance and food sourcing. The outcry over farm practices has also drawn celebrities including Ryan Gosling and Jamie Oliver to lobby the quick-serve food giant to lead the fast food industry by raising the bar on ethical food practices, while the restaurant chain defends its sustainable supply chain policies.
Discussing the issues in a new video above: Todd Bacon, McDonald's USA Senior Director of Quality Systems, suppliers (a group that McDonald's has been featuring in its farm-to-front-counter advertising campaign) and animal welfare experts incuding Dr. Temple Grandin, the well-known animal behaviorist who is a member of the chain's Animal Welfare Council. Watch the video and weigh in with a comment below.