Wendy’s pledges to improve treatment of employees and animals after boycotts

The company released a report on corporate social responsibility, pledging to improve animal care, employee resources and a reduced carbon footprint

Food and packaging waste represents approximately 45% of American landfills. Fast food workers are organizing more than ever. And a growing number of Americans are concerned about the quality of the meat they eat and the environmental impact of factory farming. These are the conditions under which Wendy’s announced its “Well done” campaign, which will focus on “strengthening existing initiatives and launching new ones to improve our approaches to food, people and our footprint”. The commitments include sourcing eggs from cage-free farms and using more beef that has been treated only with “a medically important antibiotic commonly used in beef production.” The company also claims to have tested hamburgers and plant-based chicken products. For employees, Wendy’s is extending the benefits to its national partners and the company is working with NextGen Consortium to develop more sustainable hot and cold beverage cups.

The plan comes after Wendy’s facing boycotts for refusing to sign a program to source tomatoes from growers who meet strict labor standards, such as protecting workers from sexual assault. Now, says Wendy’s, “every tomato in our US and Canadian supply chain comes from North American hydroponic greenhouses” because “greenhouses provide a safe indoor working environment.”

It is also coming as more and more fast food restaurants are publicly rethinking their business models in order to do things like treat employees fairly and not make such a colossal mess of the planet for the sake of profit. For example, Burger King recently announced that it would stop distributing toys with children’s meals and collect existing toys and melt plastic for use in building playgrounds. As Tim Forster wrote, “Getting rid of plastic toys, while certainly a step forward, is not particularly important – especially in the face of the large tentacle fossil fuel companies that much more serious problems. “Which isn’t to say Wendy’s shouldn’t try.

And in other news …

  • Someone made Paris Hilton’s lasagna, which didn’t ask for herbs, spices, or anything else that could add flavor. It was “a terribly bland time” and after a day in the refrigerator it tasted like “a leather shoe dipped in a meat pie”. [Good Food]
  • Michelin-starred restaurant Riff in Valencia, Spain has been declared not responsible for the deaths of a woman who suffered from food poisoning (along with several others) while dining there. The forensic report determined “she was suffering from acute respiratory failure as a result of a pre-existing kidney disorder.” [Drinks Business]
  • America’s water is full of “chemicals forever” and the EPA is not moving fast enough. [Vice]
  • Here’s why Guy Fieri is a memes king. May we all become citizens of Flavortown one day. [Mel Magazine]
  • With their milk, senators can munch on candy, but nothing else inside the Senate chamber. Nothing like a sugar-thirsty or drowsy public official to make all these important decisions! [NY Times]
  • New York City Council is on track to pass a bill that would force all stores to accept cash, amid the rise of “cashless” restaurants and cafes. [ABC7]
  • Sales balance out for the Impossible Whopper, so Burger King cuts the prices. [Bloomberg]
  • Barefoot Caves is launching a “seltzer wine,” which it says is different from a spritzer wine. [Forbes]
  • A cold snap in Florida knocked down iguanas from the trees. Now people are selling iguana meat on Facebook. [USA Today]
  • Restaurant service etiquette can still be incredibly sexist. Who is surprised? [Mel Magazine]


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Boyd S. Abbott

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