Saturday, May 31, 2008

Campbell Soup is Hmm Hmm Wrong!

Campbell Soup Andy Warhol Food before Fuel corn wheatCampbell Soup's CEO Doug Conant spoke with the Wall Street Journal and shared his management secrets for "leading a transformation" in an article that appeared this week.

5 Tips From Douglas Conant on Leading a Transformation
  • Bring an "all things are possible" attitude to the work.
  • Confront the brutal facts and be clear-eyed about the situation.
  • Set high standards and make expectations clear, as the ability to mobilize people is the key to success.
  • Give the organization time to do things right.
  • Do what you say you will; this is about performance, not intentions.

We suggest that he adds "tell the truth" to his list.

In the article, Conant claims that the recently-enacted Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) is to blame for higher wheat prices because less wheat is grown in favor of corn:

WSJ: Does Campbell have a position on the food-for-fuel issue and the government mandate on how much corn should be used to make ethanol?

Mr. Conant: The world has changed since the ethanol incentives were put in place and what we're saying is, it has to be re-examined because it had unintended consequences. The people that enacted it didn't realize the impact it was going to have -- that by planting more corn you'd be planting less wheat and that the price of that wheat was going to go up so much because the demand for wheat globally is so high.

Campbell Soup, a leader in the Grocery Manufacturers Association, failed to mention that according to the USDA wheat acres were up in 2007 and also are projected to be up again this year. These facts can easily be checked on the USDA website.

Wheat All


Planted All Purposes




Price per Unit

Value of production

2007 60,433 1 51,011 1 40.5 2 2,066,722 3

2006 57,344 1 46,810 1 38.7 2 1,812,036 3 4.25 4 7,721,028 5

1 - thousand acres 2 - bushel 3 - thousand bushels 4 - dols / bu 5 - thousand dollars

The GMA claims to have "the facts on their side" in their smear campaign against ethanol. But GMA and Campbell Soup apparently don't need the "facts". They just make them up. And the WSJ just mindlessly prints the mis-truths.

Campbell Soup...Hmm Hmm Wrong!

Source: WSJ, USDA

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