Update. March 2011

Schools Kit ....

Check out our new Educational Resources section, including:

  • Brand match cards (who are the companies behind the brands?, are they locally or foreign owned?)
  • Ethical schools session (activities using the print guide)
  • Needs and Wants cards
  • Oxfam Trade game
  • Chaga and the Chocolate Factory resource .... and more

News ....

First Milk Wars, now Beer Wars

23rd March 2011 Beer has become the new battleground in the supermarket price war after Australia's biggest brewer, Foster's, pulled key beer brands from Coles and Woolworths upon learning of a plan to sell them for $28 a slab - well below cost. more.

Between them, Woolworths and Coles control over 50% of total alcohol retail in Australia – up from 32% just 5 years ago. more

With exception of the family owned Coopers Brewery, all of the large Australian breweries are now owned by either the Foster's Group (still Australian owned) or Lion Nathan-National Foods (owned by Kirin of Japan). They have 50% and 40% of market share respectively. See their brands here When buying beer, consider supporting one of Australia’s 100+ microbreweries.

Coles and Woolies both pledge to source sustainable seafood

21st March 2011 With guidance from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Coles has announced plans to introduce more certified sustainable seafood options and phase out overfished and at-risk species. more. See Coles Guide to Seafood Sourcing.

Woolworth plans eventual MSC certification. more

>> See more at our News page.

Good Choices ....

This Easter

Get into the 'new life' swing and avoid the 'chocolate made with child labour' thing. more

You can choose Fairtrade chocolate eggs at Only Just shop (48 Were St, Montmorency, Vic, 0413 314 626), and Oxfam online shop, or find other retailers stocking good chocs at World Vision's 'Don't Trade Lives' campaign Good Chocolate Guide.

For those wanting a Lenten adventure with personal and planetary significance, check out the Carbon Fast, a 40 day challenge that enables you to learn, live, give, pray and advocate for justice in a changing climate.

Plastic State of Mind

Check out this very amusing vid!
SA banned lightweight single-use plastic bags in 2009, NT will follow in Sept 2011, and ACT in Nov. Tassie and WA are still thinking about it.

What to do? Make sure those reusable bags end up in your handbag, rucksack, car boot, or bike pannier, and come with you to the store!

Don't buy Coles homebrand milk!

Sometimes you have to spell it out...

for $1 a litre, someone, somewhere along the line,
is getting ripped off. more

Learn about the supermarket duopoly

>> Better options - branded products - such as National Foods owned by Kirin of Japan, have 81 % of the market (Pura, Dairy Farmers); Parmalat of Italy (Rev, Pauls, Physical, Skinny); Fonterra of New Zealand (Brownes, Anchor)

>> Better still - Australian owned milks - such as Murray Goulburn Co-operative (Devondale); Freedom Nutritional Products (A2); Warnambool Cheese & Butter Factory (Sungold)

>> Best - small independent farm gate products - such as B.-d. Farm Paris Creek, True Orgainc, Elgaar Farm, Barambah Organics, Hastings Valley Dairy

Focus on Agribusiness ...

Who controls our food? - Food security has emerged as a growing political concern after a wave of agribusiness buyouts. more. These include:

We've only just touched on this in our new section on 'agribusiness' in the 2011 edition of the Guide to Ethical Supermarket Shopping. A small number of powerful companies control many parts in the industrial food system. Find out more.

What can you do? Where possible, support small local busineses and economies where you know who your dollar is supporting. Petition government to regulate on who can own what.

Upcoming events...

Workshops in Victoria
  • Thursday 21st April, 6.00pm-8.30pm >> SWAC supermarket tour, Frankston
  • Saturday 14 May, 1pm – 3.30pm >> SWAC supermarket tour, Kilmore
Find out more or register online here .

Meal & Movie nights

  • Thursday 14th April – screening 'End of the line'', Neesh & Shaun's place, Yarraville, Melbourne's west. Dinner 6.30, Movie 8.00pm more, RSVP to Nick, more about meal & movie nights.

Fundraising? ...

Don't sell chocolates, sell the Guide! – No child labour, no multinational ownership, no sweet fatty bits (well, just a few!).

  • Sell to your group at RRP $6.00
  • Buy 40+, pay $3.60 each, make $2.40 on each
  • Buy a box of 160, pay just $3.00 each, make $3.00 on each
Spread the message and raise funds for your group! more


Get the Guide! - pocket guide, iphone app, hemp bags - www.ethical.org.au/shop
See news and print guide updates at www.ethical.org.au/news and www.ethical.org.au/rss
Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/ethicalshopper & Facebook www.facebook.com/ethicalshopper
To view this newsletter online go to www.ethical.org.au/newsletters/mar2011.htm