After years of pressure, energy bar maker agrees to disclose country of origin for their cocoa

For Immediate Release
Contact: lauren Ornelas 530.848.4021

Cotati, CA — December 2, 2014 – Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.), a vegan food justice organization, announced today that Clif Bar & Company, an Emeryville, CA-based maker of popular energy bars, has agreed to disclose the country of origin for the cocoa used in some of their products. Today, the company contacted F.E.P. and detailed exactly which countries their cocoa comes from, a list that can now be found online: http://www.clifbar.com/article/certified-sustainable-ingredients-from-around-the-world

“We are thrilled that Clif Bar disclosed the origins of their cocoa and lived up to the social responsible image that it projects,” said lauren Ornelas, founder and executive director of Food Empowerment Project.

Food Empowerment Project has worked for a few years to get the energy bar company to be transparent about the countries of origin for its cocoa. A petition on Care2.com requesting that Clif Bar be transparent with their chocolate sourcing collected more than 83,000 signatures from consumers around the world.

A 2011 Tulane University study estimated that more than 1.8 million children work on cocoa farms in Western Africa, and both investigations and firsthand accounts detail harsh, exploitative working conditions, including forced labor.

“Although the road to ending the worst abuses in the chocolate industry, including child and slave labor, is going to be a long one, corporate transparency is an important step corporations can take to show they are beginning to take the issue seriously,” said Ornelas.

Consumers are becoming more aware of the issues surrounding chocolate sourced from countries where child labor and slavery are common. Groups such as Food Empowerment Project are working toward educating and making corporations accountable for their ingredient sourcing. F.E.P. maintains a list on its website of “recommended” and “not recommended” companies that offer at least one vegan chocolate product.

About Food Empowerment Project

Founded in 2006, Food Empowerment Project seeks to create a more just and sustainable world by recognizing the power of one’s food choices. We encourage healthy food choices that reflect a more compassionate society by spotlighting the abuse of animals on farms, the depletion of natural resources, unfair working conditions for produce workers, and the unavailability of healthy foods in low-income areas. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, F.E.P. is based in Sonoma County. For more information, please visit www.foodispower.org

shame on albertsons

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Please sign and share the petition to Safeway/Albertsons’ CEO Vivek Sankaran right now and tell him that all neighborhoods need access to fresh food!

Please sign our friends, at Birchwood Food Desert Fighters, petition to Albertsons, asking them to remove ALL grocery noncompete clauses affecting the Park Manor Shopping Center.

Call Safeway to complain:
1-877-Safeway
(1-877-723-3929). *

Call Albertsons to complain:
1-877-848-6483.*

Call Safeway to complain:
1-877-Safeway
(1-877-723-3929). *

Call Albertsons to complain:
1-877-848-6483.*

* Suggested language and details: Please make a polite phone call and keep in mind the person you are speaking to probably has no idea about this policy—most people don’t. You just need to stay on the line for a customer service representative. For Safeway, they will ask you for your full name and phone number and if you have a Safeway card number.
 
Suggested language: “I am calling to log a comment against a Safeway / Albertsons policy that sometimes puts restrictive deeds on its former properties and prevents other grocery stores from moving in, sometimes for 10 years or more. This has impacted community health. I would like Safeway / Albertsons to end this policy immediately.”
 

If they ask questions you cannot answer, feel free to provide our email: info@foodispower.org and remind them you are calling because you disagree with this practice.

Order some of our leaflets to share with others by emailing info(at)foodispower.org.

 
 

Join us by taking a stand in front of your local Safeway / Albertsons! Find a demo to attend here.

Want to organize your own demo? We can send you leaflets and posters. Contact us here for additional details.

 
 
Take action on social media with hashtag #ShameOnSafeway & #ShameOnAlbertsons and tagging Safeway & Albertsons.

Thank you for wanting to take a stand against a corporation that is impacting the health of Black and Brown communities and low-income neighborhoods.

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