Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chipotle's Profits Rise on Higher Prices and Low Workers' Pay

Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chipotle Mexican Grill just released their quarterly profits --- a gigante 44.7% increase in net income of over $35,000,000!

That's bigger than their calorie-busting fajita burritos!

Chipotle posted their bigger-than-expected profit gain to the surprise of many Wall Street analysts. Although a once-darling of the street, recent economic times has taken a toll.

The startling increase was helped by their recent menu price increases, more "efficient labor staffing" (think "do more with less") and other cost cutting moves.

And about those low costs.

The Coalition for Immokalee Workers in Florida have been protesting Chipotle's refusal to join other fast food giants (including McDonald's, YUM Brnads and Burger King) in paying a higher wage to Florida tomato workers.

According to the group that is fighting to improve the lives of the farmworkers:
"We view the CIW’s struggle for dignity as a non-negotiable part of the struggle for a sustainable food system. Therefore, we strongly urge you to enter into an agreement with this worker-led organization that has been fighting tirelessly to improve conditions in tomato country since 1993...and Chipotle's refusal to sign an agreement with the CIW only bolsters the growers’ intransigence."
For a company that hypes itself as "Food with Integrity", it seems moral value does have a price.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Kraft Foods Profits on Higher Food Prices

Kraft Foods EthanolKraft Foods Inc. said its first-quarter profit rose 10 percent in its recent earnings report.

This from the giant foodmaker who blames American agriculture for its need to raise food prices.

The maker of well-known brands as Velveeta, Oreo cookies and Maxwell House coffee says it plans to focus more on its core products where it can make even more money.  

Of course, this means keeping food prices high and blaming others.

Kraft said it earned $660 million, or 45 cents per share in the three-month period ending in March. That compares to a profit of $599 million, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier, when results were dampened by $98 million in restructuring costs.

Last year during high energy prices, Kraft and others at  the Grocery Manufacturers Associations started a a high-priced public relations campaign to blame the higher food costs on American  agriculture and  the renewable fuels industry.

Source: Kraft Foods