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Racist CPG Rebrands, Former Bumble Bee CEO Sent to Prison for Price-Fixing + More | Food+Tech Connect


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Source: Vox

Every week we track the business, tech and investment trends in CPG, retail, restaurants, agriculture, cooking and health, so you don’t have to. Here are some of this week’s top headlines.

A slew of Big food brands have been called out once again to rebrand their racist stereotypes: PepsiCo’s Aunt Jemima, Mars’ Uncle Ben’s, Conagra’s Mrs. Butterworth’s and Cream of Wheat’s Rastus. Reparations have only just begun for food companies large and small in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The former CEO and President of Bumble Bee Foods, Christopher Lischewski,  has been sentenced to 40 months in jail and charged a $100k criminal fine for his leadership role in a three-year antitrust conspiracy to fix the prices of canned tuna.

A recent survey by the Nation’s Restaurant Association has found that the industry has a whole has lost $120 billion since the coronavirus outbreak. About 55% of operators with temporarily closed restaurants said there are not enough customers to justify reopening.

Last but not least, the UN, WHO and WWF International are calling for legislation and trade deals worldwide to encourage a green and healthy recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, in particular by reforming destructive farming and unsustainable diets.

 

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Check out our weekly round-up of last week’s top food startup, tech and innovation news below or peruse the full newsletter here.


 

The 130-year-old brand features a Black woman named Aunt Jemima, who is rooted in Jim Crow-era perceptions of black women, specifically the Southern “mammy” stereotype of a loyal and submissive servant.

 

Cream of Wheat has been criticized for the chef character Rastus, whose name is widely considered derogatory to black men. The move follows rebrands of PepsiCo’s Aunt Jemima, Mars’ Uncle Ben’s and Conagra’s Mrs. Butterworth’s.

 

Christopher Lischewski has been sentenced to 40 months in jail and charged a $100k criminal fine for his leadership role in a three-year antitrust conspiracy to fix the prices of canned tuna.

 

About 55% of operators with temporarily closed restaurants said there are not enough customers to justify reopening. The industry has lost $120b since the onset of the coronavirus crisis.

 

The UN, WHO and WWF International are calling for a green and healthy recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, in particular by reforming destructive farming and unsustainable diets.

 

Financial terms were not disclosed. The transaction will equip the Chicago-based collagen maker with the resources to scale its reach and innovation.

 

Funding will go towards countering the ongoing global pandemic with a vaccine. Morningside Ventures led the round.

 

Florida, North Carolina and Washington preview further spread as harvest season advances.

 

A record number of food and farmworkers are falling sick and dying from coronavirus. Advocates blame the federal agency for failing to set mandatory worker safety standards.

 

DST Global and General Catalyst led the round. Funding will be used to invest in shoppers and partners, build out its advertising and enterprise business and focus on customer experience.

 

Soilworks Natural Capital, a public benefit corporation, invests in, incubates and acquires companies to help accelerate environmentally critical regenerative practices. Financial terms of its acquisition were undisclosed.

 

The NYC program will distribute $3m to about 100 small restaurants located in 27 neighborhoods that have borne the brunt of the impact of the virus. Eligible restaurants can receive up to $30k to help with payroll.

 

In addition to declaring solidarity, the fast food industry could make changes to protect the health and safety of black employees.

 

The Gramercy Tavern chef expands her thoughts about how performance can transform into action, the hard work white people have ahead of them, and why it’s time to rebuild the restaurant industry from the ground up.

 

The legendary food writer talks about the cost of hunger, the importance of growing our own food and much more.

 

In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, we have compiled a list of resources amplifying black chefs and food producers, black-owned businesses, and organizations helping the food insecure during protests and COVID-19.

 

Joyy and Engage Capital co-led the round. Funding will be used to enhance its supply chain and grow its presence in eastern and southern China.

 

GL Ventures led the round. Funding will be used for product research and development, expanding its production capacity, and marketing and brand promotion.

 

 



 


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Author: Usama Younus

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