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

Sustainability is now part of the financial suite for many drinks companiesHow weaving sustainability into your business model will generate value - Sustainability Spotlight 27 February 2020

Ben Cooper examines recent announcements from soft drinks producers Coca-Cola European Partners and Britvic that underline how sustainability goals no longer simply inspire companies or earn them green credentials, but have become critical to value creation and business strategy.


Taking action on climate change is one thing, but getting your message across to consumers is anotherHow can drinks firms connect with consumers on climate action? – Sustainability Spotlight 31 January 2020

The New Year - and decade - have begun much as the last ones ended, with climate change making headline news and a 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl delivering uncomfortable truths to an audience of elite grown-ups. This month, the alphas on the receiving end of Greta Thunberg's uncompromising words and unsettling, piercing stare were gathered for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.


just-drinks considers the forces that have shaped the wine category in 2019The wine category in 2019 - just-drinks' Review of the Year, Part I - FREE TO ACCESS 5 December 2019

As the year draws to a close, just-drinks takes a look back at the stories that have made the headlines across the global drinks industry over the last 12 months. Here, Ben Cooper picks out the highs and lows for the wine category.


Consumers are increasingly looking to companies to up their environmental efforts, and fastYour company needs to do more to curb emissions - Consumers demand it - Sustainability Spotlight 29 November 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, the reviews of the year will surely focus on the upsurge in impassioned concern over climate change, with montages of extreme weather, forest fires, Extinction Rebellion civil disobedience, children across the globe walking out of school in protest and Greta Thunberg scolding the UN's Climate Summit. However, while the climate debate undeniably gathered pace this year, the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions sadly did not.


The soft drinks industry has long been in the crosshairs of anti-obesity campaignersWhy soft drinks companies must have nutrition & hydration as their watchwords - Sustainability Spotlight 7 November 2019

Drinks companies are finding it increasingly difficult to persuade lawmakers not to impose taxes on sweetened soft drinks. The reasons why, Ben Cooper writes, can be found in two reports from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).


The Coca-Cola Co has come under fire for marketing Coke Classic alongside the brand's no-sugar offeringsThe Coca-Cola Co's delicate sports sponsorship balancing act - Sustainability Spotlight 19 September 2019

In this month's focus on the sustainability arena, Ben Cooper considers how The Coca-Cola Co's sugar reduction efforts are being perceived by campaigners.


Drinks companies' use of land for raw materials is now under the sustainability spotlightWhy your company's use of land matters more than you think - Sustainability Spotlight 22 August 2019

Ben Cooper looks at how the latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will influence drinks manufacturers' greenhouse gas emissions strategies.


Packaging is at the forefront of emission control, with wine companies steering consumers to greener optionsCan marketing turn beverage consumers into unconscious environmentalists? - Sustainability Spotlight 31 July 2019

In just-drinks' latest look at sustainability, Ben Cooper asks if companies can use their marketing muscle to nudge consumers into making more sustainable choices in the beverage aisle - whether they realise it or not.


'Terroir' should not be exclusive to the wine category, suggests Ben CooperWhy sustainability cues offer a marketing opportunity for spirits - Sustainability Spotlight 25 June 2019

A strawberry-flavoured vodka made by distilling the discarded whey from cheese-making, an apple vodka flavoured with 14 varietals of "non-GMO" apples and an organic gin and vodka from Speyside. All making their drinks industry bow in the last few weeks, these new products underline emphatically the growing trend for positioning spirits on sustainability attributes.


The Brewers Association launched a seal for independent brewers in the US in 2017"The craft beer buying spree created some confusion in the marketplace" - just-drinks speaks to Paul Gatza, Brewers Association senior VP of professional brewing 5 June 2019

In an increasingly-competitive beer market, craft brewers to be underselling their sustainability credentials. Paul Gatza, senior VP of the professional brewing division at the Brewers Association, speaks with Ben Cooper about what sets craft brewers apart and why they seem not to be taking full advantage of some natural strengths. 




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