Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Update on Clif Bar Campaign – January 2013






Thanks to everyone who has signed our petition to Clif Bar and shared with others how this corporation’s lack of transparency is a stain on their so-called sustainability record.

Food Empowerment Project has contacted more than 100 companies asking that they simply disclose the country of origin for where they source their cacao. And more than 100 companies have responded; even if they do not fall on our recommended list, they have at least disclosed.

With more than 70% of the world’s cacao coming from West Africa, where slavery and some of the worst forms of child labor have been found in the cacao industry, our goal is to help consumers be more informed.

Clearly, Clif Bar is not the only company that has not disclosed, but they are definitely on the top of the list when looking at companies that claim social responsibility.

I met with Clif Bar representatives in late September 2012. They stated once again that the country of origin on the ingredients of their products was proprietary information. I asked them to please share with their board that they should take a different stance on cacao, given the controversy surrounding its procurement. 

They encouraged us to speak with Rainforest Alliance about their cacao suppliers. I explained to them that we have companies on our recommended list (regardless of how we feel about their certification scheme) that use Rainforest Alliance. The responsibility of transparency lies solely with Clif Bar.

We had agreed to meet again in six weeks. 

At the end of December, we spoke on the phone for 15 minutes, and I was told that the company has decided that they can reveal the country of origin for all of their ingredients, but that the country of origin for their cacao is still proprietary.

At this point the conversation has ceased, as they are only interested in connecting us with Rainforest Alliance.  

Given the serious nature of slavery and children working under the worst forms of child labor in the cacao industry, this is not an issue that Clif Bar should claim as propriety and hide behind. We need them to take a strong stand against the abuses in the cacao industry. 

We hope that you will continue to help us to encourage Clif Bar to live up to the company image they continue to offer the public.  

Photo ©Romano

UPDATE: Food Empowerment Project Announces Clif Bar Campaign Victory

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