Looming Tariffs Whet Appetite for Delicacies

Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2009

“The ultimate loser is the consumer,” said Matt Caputo, owner of Caputo’s, a specialty-food retailer in Salt Lake City that specializes in Italian and Southern European products. Mr. Caputo, who recently ordered a year’s worth of chocolates and 10 times his usual volume of Italian mineral waters in anticipation of higher prices, said he has collected more than 600 signatures on a petition protesting the tariffs that he plans to send to the White House.

Nestle Waters North America, which imports San Pellegrino, has asked the U.S. Court of International Trade for a preliminary injunction to block the tariff on Italian mineral water.

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U of Winnipeg to phase out sales of bottled water on campus

Chinta Puxley, Globe & Mail (Canada) March 24, 2009

WINNIPEG — The University of Winnipeg says it is taking a stand against water for profit as well as plastic containers that end up in landfills by becoming the first campus in Canada to ban bottled water sales.

The decision announced yesterday follows a referendum last week in which three-quarters of students who voted said they were in favour of ditching the 38,000 bottles of water sold on the downtown campus each year.

The University of Washington was the first to ban bottled water sales in the United States and Winnipeg students say they are now blazing the same trail in Canada.

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Leading Indian Activist, Medha Patkar, Takes on Corporate Control of Water

Medha Patkar, one of India’s best-known and best-loved social activists. She is the iconic founder of the Save the Narmada Movement and the National Alliance of People’s Movements. She led the nonviolent struggle against the Sardar Sarovar dam project over the Narmada River for more than two decades and continues to fight for the rights of some 300,000 people, those already made homeless and those facing displacement by the dam. Patkar has organized several mass rallies, demonstrations and hunger strikes, survived numerous jail terms and police violence, and won many important victories. (March 23, 2009 broadcast.)

Newfield Passes Ban On Large Scale Water Extraction

WCSH-TV Ch. 6, Mar.15, 2009

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The town of Newfield is now the second in Maine to ban large-scale water extraction.

Saturday’s vote was 228 in favor of the new ordinance and 146 against. The vote is a reaction to interest from Poland Spring Water and its parent company, Nestle, in pumping water from an aquifer shared by Newfield and Shapleigh.

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Bottled Water Industy Faces Downward Spiral

By Richard Girard, Polaris Institute, March 11, 2009

One year ago we published an article outlining the bottled water industry’s plan for dealing with a quickly spreading backlash against their products. We reported that bottled water companies would focus attention on altruistic and humanitarian efforts to hide environmental and social impacts. At the time, marketing publications were predicting that bottled water companies would employ intense ‘ethical’ or ‘responsible’ marketing, understood as tying the purchase of a product to charitable activities. Continue reading