Food Companies Mark Earth Day With Lobbying Effort

Several large food companies, including Kellogg, Unilever, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Nestlé and Mars, will send representatives to Washington this week to urge Congress to combat climate change.

Mnet 143296 Earth Day Pic Lead

Several large food companies will send representatives to Washington this week to urge Congress to combat climate change.

Ceres, a nonprofit group focused on sustainability issues, organized the Earth Day lobbying effort by a slew of Fortune 500 companies, including Kellogg, Unilever, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Nestlé and Mars.

Forbes reports those companies believe their long-term business stability requires that the international community reach a strong climate change deal at a December UN conference in Paris.

Those companies were also among those expressing support for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's plan to curb carbon emissions -- a proposal that drew heavy criticism from some businesses and legal challenges from a group of states.

"Nestle’s is directly impacted by the effects of climate change," Nestlé Waters North America CEO Tim Brown said late last year. "Of particular concern are changes to weather patterns, water availability and agricultural productivity that will affect our global supply chain."


One agricultural expert, meanwhile, said agriculture must be part of the discussion about environmental protection and called farmers "some of the best environmental stewards in the U.S. in the past few decades."

MinnStar Bank vice president and former University of Minnesota Extension educator Kent Thiesse, writing in Corn and Soybean Digest, said despite the industry's negative reputation among environmental advocates, farmers have restored wetlands, reduced soil erosion and bolstered carbon sequestration at little cost to taxpayers.

"There is still a lot to be accomplished to manage potential water quality, global warming and other environmental issues; however, we can rest assured that farmers and the agriculture industry will do their part to find solutions," Thiesse wrote.

 

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