No I don’t have a cold bottom, I’m talking about Pink Buns from Baker’s Delight, a national chain of bakeries in this country. Every year in May, Baker’s Delight sell special pink buns, and the proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Network Australia. Today the buns came on sale for 2017.
Aha! I hear you say, another case of “Pink Washing”, and normally you’d be right to be sceptical, but not in this case.
“Pink Washing” refers to the corporate practice of attaching the pink ribbon, or in this case, pink lady, to products while donating very little, and in some cases no, money to any breast cancer charities.
Another form of pink washing is to attach the pink ribbon to products that contain ingredients that are linked to breast cancer. For instance, in 2010, the Komen foundation partnered with Kentucky Fried Chicken to promote their new grilled chicken, the premise being that diets high in fat are linked to cancer risk, and therefore eating grilled chicken, instead of fried, reduces your risk of cancer. However the original fried chicken was also being sold in the pink “Buckets for a Cure”.
Think Before You Pink urges us to scrutinise any potential pink washing using four criteria, so let’s have a look at the pink buns.
- How much money goes to the orgnisation being supported.
Well that’s easy! All of it! And I mean all of it. When a customer pays $1.50 for a pink bun, BCNA receives $1.50, not a fraction of the profits, the entire value of the sale. Last year Baker’s Delight raised $AUD1.5million, about $USD1.1million, €1 million, £850,000.
Compare that with, for instance, Mt Franklin Water, a Coco-Cola owned brand of water. In 2011 they paid $250,000 to The McGrath Foundation to sell their water in pink bottles. The same year, Guess paid “a portion of profits” from their limited edition pink watches to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. A list of companies contributing to breast cancer organisations in order to twist the heart strings of purchasers with their pink packaging can be found here, but they all look rather stingy when compared to Baker’s Delight.
- What organisation will receive the funds, and what will they do with the money.
The BCNA is a support and advocacy organisation. They provide information and support to women and men diagnosed with breast cancer and lobby for government policy changes based on member input. Government policy determines which drugs, treatments and diagnostic methods we have access to in this country.
- Is there a cap on the donation the company will make, and has it already been met.
Nope! The more buns we eat, the more money BCNA receives.
- Is the product actually exposing women to toxins linked to breast cancer?
Well, it’s bread with pink icing. It may be nutritionally void, the pink food colouring maybe bad news for beetles, and there is way more sugar and salt in it than anyone should be eating, but there are no toxins in it. On the other hand, eating sugary, high GI foods is linked to obesity and obesity is one of the few things, apart from being a woman and getting old, that is linked to breast cancer, so it’s just as well it’s only for a month!
So hurrah for Baker’s Delight and hurrah for Pink Buns and I’ll be hoeing down on one for my cheat meal on Saturday!