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

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. 

 Why craft brewers must turn up their ethical volume - Sustainability Spotlight 31 May 2019

The merger of Boston Beer Co and fellow craft brewer Dogfish Head Brewery earlier this month shows craft brewers are far from immune from the challenging conditions in the US beer sector. In today's market, strong sustainability credentials might be expected to bolster craft brewers but, Ben Cooper writes, craft brewers are underplaying their sustainability profile. With more powerful competitors taking every opportunity to promote sustainability achievements, modesty is a dubious virtue.

Direct action by pressure group Extinction Rebellion has hit the headlines this monthWhy drinks brands must move beyond comfortable consensus on climate change - Sustainability Spotlight 25 April 2019

Ben Cooper looks at the impact the recent increase in environmental activism might have on how consumers judge drinks companies' actions in relation to climate change.

Transparency for drinks companies is moving beyond plastic and into their wider back-room operationsWhy drinks companies must respond to consumer demands for transparency - Sustainability Spotlight 28 March 2019

The Coca-Cola Co's admission earlier this month that it produces 3m tonnes of plastic packaging per year was a landmark moment for the soft drinks giant, though clearly not one it was hastening to greet. This is not only a significant moment in the campaign to address plastic waste, Ben Cooper writes, but points to the shifting ground on what companies must disclose and what is acceptable for them to keep to themselves.

Consumer concerns about plastic packaging mean the issue is getting plenty of attention from politiciansHow important is the plastic crisis? More important than Brexit - Sustainability Spotlight 20 February 2019

Public policy and corporate action in relation to plastic packaging were always likely to remain much-discussed topics in 2019. Less than two months into the year, this is proving to be the case. Ben Cooper reports.

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