Hannah Montana Bananas? Oy veh.
So here's the theory about ethical consumerism. The theory is that by buying ethically, you send a message to businesses that they need to be concerned about the ethics related to what they promote/manufacture/etc. That it is the triple bottom line (people/planet/profit) that matters, and not just profit. By putting pressure on businesses, the idea is that, eventually, they will become more ethical.
Or ... they will start to produce Hannah Montana Bananas. One of the two really.
So, Jeff recently published a piece on Just Means regarding Disney's new line of branded goods: fruit and vegetables. These branded healthy foods represent a new, supposedly, more ethical approach from Disney as now they are pushing children to eat bananas instead of Happy Meals. Check out the Washington Post article here for the details.
Now, not that I don't love children eating healthier food, but ... really? Is this really what passes for CSR these days?
Here are my questions. How are these foods grown? Are the grown organically? Are these Hannah Montana Bananas fair trade? Is Disney exploiting poor labor conditions in the South?
If the answer is yes, then do Disney's bananas really pass muster for an ethical consumer?
Corporate Social Responsibility shouldn't just be about producing food that is healthier for you than McDonalds. CSR should also be about the impact on the planet, and the impact on the laborers who produce those goods. I know that we should be applauding baby steps by corporations to become more ethical, but frankly, I don't see any ethics here. What I see is a company who decided to get out of the junk food business because it was damaging and unprofitable, and instead decided to get into the healthy food business because it was more profitable and less damaging.
Hannah Montana Bananas? No thanks.