Local. Organic. Sustainable. There are a million food labels out there meant to tell consumers that what they’re buying is tasty and eco-friendly.
Jim Prevor, founder and editor-in-chief of Produce Business and Deli Business takes Wal-Mart to task for its new program, which it says will source more of its produce from local suppliers, help small- and mid-sized farmers (especially those in emerging markets) with training and infrastructure, and measure the efficiency of large suppliers.
“The problem is that ‘efficiency’ is meaningless without context,” Prevor writes. He definitely has some major issues with Wal-Mart, asking in the headline whether the program is a “PR stunt.” But besides that, his column also sheds light on the ways any company could use some flowery language to give the impression of sustainability.
With the FTC taking a closer look at the standards in the Green Guides, this is the time for PR firms and in-house publicists to take a look at the messaging surrounding their “sustainable” food brands. Better to regulate yourself than to have the FTC make an example out of you.