iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Postive protest

Play now 18 mins

Postive protest

18 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 08 February 2012

The financial crisis has led to a great upsurge of protest around the world.

Movements are springing up to campaign against the authors of the financial crisis - to look at new forms of capitalism - and how to manage greed in the West.

And they are also experimenting with protest itself - exploring new ways to bring about the changes they want to see in the world.

One theme is positive campaigning - instead of opposing the the things they don't like they are looking at ways to support and encourage the things they do.

A key test bed for these new ideas has been in the food industry.

The BBC's Dan Saladino looks at how some grass roots activists are coming up with new ideas to persuade businesses operate in more environmentally friendly and transparent ways.

This growing concern among consumers about how food is produced and sourced has made it a major preoccupation for big business too.

The Brazilian beef industry is a case in point. Cattle ranching is the biggest factor driving deforestation in the Amazon.

In recent years the rate of deforestation in the Amazon has dropped dramatically. One factor has been a campaign to stop trade in meat from illegally deforested land led by Greenpeace and supported by the Brazilian farmers organisation Allianca da Terra.

This campaign - and new laws - has helped persuade some of the vast meatpacking and slaughterhouse companies that operate in Brazil to begin to change their practices.

On a recent trip to the country Justin Rowlatt met Carolina Barretto who works for the Mafrig group - the third largest meat company in the world. She says Mafrig carefully documents the source of all the cattle the company buys.

Plus - the key to successful marketing is directing your message to people who might actually be interested to hear it. Internet search has made that a whole lot easier for companies.

Have you noticed how just after you send off an email about your summer holiday you find you are suddenly besieged with ads from travel agencies and airlines? Just like magic eh?

Well, not really.

It reflects how much internet firms now know about us, as Google's new privacy policy has made plain.

The new policy allows the company to gather and use data gathered from your email, your calendar, and your search habits.

Our regular technology commentator, Jeremy Wagstaff from the Reuters news agency, worries that what seems like magic to consumers now may soon seem like an unwarranted intrusion into our private lives.

(Image: Close up of a cow. Credit: Associated Press)

  • Saving the Amazon: Winning the war on deforestation

    Saving the Amazon: Winning the war on deforestation

    My journey was to take me across the southern Amazon, the area the Brazilians call "the arc of destruction" - a grey area between civilisation and one of the world's last true wildernesses

    Read more of Justin Rowlatt's report


Free download

  1. Image for BBC Business Daily

    BBC Business Daily

    Examining the big issues facing the global economy, Business Daily demystifies the world of money.…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss