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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'McDonald’s' Category


08
Jan

Multinationals Pushing Out Organic Fair Trade Coffee Production in Latin America

(Beyond Pesticides, January 8, 2010) Market forces driven by multinational corporations with increased market share and depressed payments for organic and fair trade coffee is threatening the organic coffee industry in Latin America. This is reversing successful efforts to improve worker and environmental protection in the production of a crop that was introduced to Latin America by Jesuit monks three hundred years ago. According to a recent Time Magazine article coffee has grown to a $70 billion a year industry, making coffee the second most valuable traded commodity after oil. Yet, small growers remain mired in poverty, where working conditions can be miserable; laboring on dangerously steep mountain sides, being exposed to dangerous pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and often going hungry for months out of the year. Organic and fair trade certified production provided a socially just response to this reality. A decade ago when coffee prices were at an all time low, many growers switched to organic for the premium price they could receive. A new article in the Christian Science Monitor highlights the unfortunate trend of growers switching back to conventional chemical-intensive methods. The Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education in Costa Rica (CATIE) estimates that […]

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07
Apr

McDonald’s Initiates Review to Reduce Pesticides in Potato Production

(Beyond Pesticides, April 7, 2009) McDonald’s Corp., the largest purchaser of potatoes in the United States, has agreed to take steps towards adopting a program that might reduce the amount of pesticides used in producing potatoes for its U.S. restaurants. As the largest buyer of potatoes in the nation, McDonald’s also said it would share information regarding the use of pesticides in the production of its products. At the same time, the market for organic potatoes is growing. A bulletin by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service states, “Organic potatoes in Maine are an industry that is increasing in scope and in value. Organic potatoes may bring a premium price in the marketplace, because many consumers understand that organic practices not only produce safe, high-quality food; they preserve topsoil and reduce pollution. Organically grown foods are flavorful and nutritious, which is why gourmet restaurants are increasingly seeking organic suppliers. Potatoes and Maine have a long tradition together, perhaps because potatoes can be stored for use during the long Maine winter. Organic potatoes and Maine may have a long tradition together as well.” This new development is the result of an agreement with a shareholder group concerning the company’s pesticides […]

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