FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
July 23, 2013

Contact:
lauren Ornelas, Executive Director
Tel: (530) 848-4021
email: lauren@www.foodispower.org

Groups call on Clif Bar to increase transparency in chocolate sourcing

Cotati, CA, July 23, 2013—Citing the prevalence of the worst forms of child labor, including slavery, in the West African cocoa industry, a group of labor, consumer, and human rights organizations are calling on Clif Bar, Inc., to join the growing list of companies that disclose the country of origin of the chocolate they sell.

To date, Clif has refused to do the same, claiming such information is proprietary; however, dozens of other companies have made such disclosures, ranging from small operations like Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates to much larger corporate labels like Kirkland (CostCo). Even companies that use various certification systems will disclose country of origin.

“Clif makes a lot of products people want, but its foot-dragging on transparency does all of us a disservice. People want to know what, exactly, they’re supporting with their purchases,” notes Food Empowerment Project Executive Director lauren Ornelas. “It also doesn’t make a lot of sense: you would imagine Clif would want to be at least as transparent as CostCo.”

The problems are serious and widespread. More than 1.8 million children work on cacao farms in West Africa, according to a 2011 Tulane University study, and both investigations and firsthand accounts detail harsh, exploitative working conditions, including forced labor.

“The facts are clear, widely acknowledged, and have spurred many consumers to avoid products that contain chocolate sourced from the region,” Ornelas adds. “On Clif’s own website, it claims that its supply chain program ‘ensures we know where our ingredients come from.’ All we are saying is: We want to know, too.”

In addition to Food Empowerment Project, the following groups are included on the letter: California Against Slavery, Community Food & Justice Coalition, International Labor Rights Forum, Organic Consumers Association, and Worksafe.

More information on Clif Bar’s transparency and labor issues in the West African cacao industry can be found here: https://foodispower.org/slavery-in-the-chocolate-industry/

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 Cotati, Calif., and operated entirely by volunteers. 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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