just-drinks authors and correspondents

Ben Cooper

Ben CooperBiography

Ben Cooper is just-drinks' sustainable business editor and specialises in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, policy issues and sustainability. He holds MAs from Cambridge University and the University of London, respectively in Social and Political Sciences and Social Policy.

He joined the just-drinks editorial team in 2000 and today works across both just-drinks and just-food, while also writing occasionally for just-style.

In addition to his regular features, Ben has written numerous in-depth management briefings on issues such as alcohol policy, sponsorship, the Fairtrade market, the use of food colourings and environmental issues facing the clothing industry. He also writes regularly for Ethical Corporation magazine which specialises in the corporate social responsibility field.

He lives in London where he also works as a professional singer.

Columns by Ben Cooper

Sustainability in DrinksSustainability in Drinks

Every month, Ben Cooper casts his eye over sustainability efforts in the global drinks industry.

Articles by Ben Cooper

Spirits brand owners are working on introducing measures to reduce their greenhouse gas emissionsSpirits brand owners look for associated environmental benefits - Sustainability Spotlight 22 February 2021

Recent developments at the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and the Distilled Spirits Council of the US (DISCUS) point to how trade associations can support the environmental aspirations of member companies. By the same token, Ben Cooper writes, companies risk reputational damage if the lobbying activities of their trade associations are inconsistent with their own sustainability commitments.

The US has rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, which was secured in 2015Sustainability decisions will shape the post-pandemic recovery - Sustainability Spotlight 21 January 2021

Ben Cooper looks at the likely predominating sustainability issues for drinks companies in 2021 as the world (hopefully) emerges from the coronavirus pandemic and the recovery begins.

What a year we've had in wine!The wine category in 2020 - just-drinks' Review of the Year, Part IV - FREE TO ACCESS 17 December 2020

As the end of the year approaches, just-drinks takes an in-depth look at the stories that made the headlines in 2020 across the global drinks industry. In part IV, Ben Cooper picks out the highs and the lows for the global wine category.

Drinks companies will see the heat turned back up on their environmental efforts under a Biden administration in the USBiden victory gives new impetus to drinks industry engagement on climate change - Sustainability Spotlight 19 November 2020

Ben Cooper assesses the impact of Joe Biden's election victory in the US on drinks companies' efforts to address climate change.

Are beverage firms paying enough attention to deforestation? - sustainability spotlight 22 October 2020

A new initiative to address deforestation was launched last month by the Consumer Goods Forum involving 17 major manufacturers and retailers - but no drinks companies. Ben Cooper explores whether the beverage sector needs to do more in the area of deforestation.

Are alcohol brand owners compromised in their efforts to discourage irresponsible drinking?Why alcohol companies must be resolute in their support of responsible drinking bodies - sustainability spotlight 29 September 2020

A recent study alleges industry-funded but independent organisations, set up to inform consumers about responsible drinking, exacerbate harmful behaviours through concealed "dark nudges" exploiting cognitive biases in consumers. Ben Cooper takes issue with serious and unsupported assertions made by the researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, particularly those concerning the crucial role medical professionals play in advising and scrutinising the work of such organisations.

Heineken 0.0's sponsorship of UEFA's Europa League is the biggest by a single no-alcohol beer brandWhy no- and low-alcohol is a good news story but not free from controversy- sustainability spotlight 20 August 2020

The growing sales of no- and low-alcohol offerings have given brewers and drinks companies the rare opportunity to convey a positive health and wellness message, Ben Cooper writes. However, controversy is never far away.

 How COVID has shed light on consumers' complex relationship with alcohol - Sustainability Spotlight 23 July 2020

As traumatic and devastating as COVID-19 has been, the pandemic has at times been revelatory, prompting us all to reassess the value we assign to the low-paid, low-skilled work of a hospital cleaner, the advantages of home-working, the merits of riding a bike or the need to travel by air. Those seeking a better understanding of society's complex relationship with alcohol may also find the events of recent months instructive.

The drinks industry has long been in the obesity firing line. Could the coronavirus make drinks an easier target?Why COVID-19 risks further government intervention for drinks - Sustainability Spotlight 18 June 2020

Within a few months, the coronavirus pandemic has dramatically increased the health risks associated with being overweight or obese. This is likely to have implications for the soft drinks sector, Ben Cooper writes, but it is important to stress the emerging evidence is more about the impacts of COVID-19 than about the causes of obesity.

 Could bulk beer shipping be another COVID-19 legacy? - sustainability spotlight 22 May 2020

Ben Cooper looks at how the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic could prompt brewers to look afresh at shipping beer in bulk, with 'bag-in-tank' shipping now offering solutions to longstanding logistical challenges.

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