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Greenpeace Protests at Yum Brands Headquarters

Activists from Greenpeace unfurled a banner on the Yum Brand headquarters on Gardiner Lane early this morning, in a move they say is meant to protest the company’s paper supplier. The banner has a picture of a Sumatran tiger. It says “KFC, stop trashing my home.”

Louisville Metro Police spokesman Dwight Mitchell says four of the protesters were cited with criminal mischief and trespassing, and the remaining five were cited for trespassing. None were taken into custody.

The move is the latest in a Greenpeace campaign against Asia Pulp & Paper. Greenpeace says KFC is sourcing its paper from the paper giant, which they say has an abysmal environmental record in caring for Asian forests.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Yum Brands Avoided State Taxes Despite Record Profits

A comprehensive study on corporate tax avoidance finds that Louisville-based Yum Brands paid no net corporate income taxes to states over the past three years despite colossal profits over $1 billion.

The report was compiled by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and Citizens for Tax Justice and lists 68 companies that paid no state corporate income tax. It show Yum Brands, which is the parent company of fast food giants Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bill, had a tax rate of negative 2 percent in 2008, 0.3 percent in 2009 and 0.9 percent in 2010.

“Our report shows these corporations raked in a combined $1.33 trillion in profits in the last three years, and far too many have managed to shelter half or more of their profits from state taxes. They’re so busy avoiding taxes, it’s no wonder they’re not creating any new jobs,” Matthew Gardner, Executive Director at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy told the Sacramento Bee.

Other Fortune 500 companies in Kentucky, including Louisville-based Humana Inc. and Kindred Healthcare, paid a three-year tax rate of less than four percent. The state budget receives around $300 million from corporate income taxes.

Local News

Yum Finds Buyers For Long John Silver’s, A&W

Louisville-based Yum Brands says it has found buyers for its Long John Silver’s and A&W Restaurant chains.

The company says Long John Silver’s is being bought by LJS Partners LLC, led by a group of franchisees and other investors.

And A&W is being bought by A Great American Brand LLC, which is led by one major franchisee.

The company didn’t disclose the financial terms of the deals.

Yum Brands put the chains up for sale in January, saying the move would help it focus on international business.

Yum Brands operates 38,000 restaurants globally. Taco Bell is its largest chain. The company also owns KFC and Pizza Hut.

(Information for this story also came from the Associated Press)

Local News

Yum Brands Earnings Report Shows Damage From Taco Bell Lawsuit

Fast-food restaurant operator Yum Brands Inc. says its U.S. business remains in the doldrums as its Taco Bell brand tries to recover from publicity surrounding a dropped lawsuit over the beef content of its taco filling.

Yum Chief Financial Officer Rick Carucci told industry analysts Thursday that the company is bracing for another double-digit drop in operating profit in its U.S. business in the third quarter.

In reporting second-quarter earnings Wednesday, the owner of the Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell brands said its U.S. operating profit fell 28 percent.

The company expects its surging business in China and other foreign markets to more than offset the domestic declines.

Yum posted 10 percent growth in its second-quarter profit and raised its earnings forecast for the full year.

From the Associated Press

Local News

PETA Grills Yum Brands Execs Over Slaughterhouses

Calling on KFC to improve conditions at its chicken slaughterhouses, members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals attended an annual shareholders meeting with Yum Brands executives.

The animal rights group owns stock in the fast food company in order to have a voice in shaping its policies and is allowed to have two representatives at shareholders meetings.

PETA spokesperson Lindsay Rajt says KFC continues to ignore recommendations from its own animal welfare advisors to change its practice of slaughtering chickens.

“KFC really is lagging behind other restaurant chains who have already improved animal welfare and have adopted purchasing preferences for this less cruel slaughter method,” she says. “We’re asking KFC just to step up to the plate and to take responsibility for animal welfare within their chain.”

In an undercover documentary, PETA activists filmed KFC slaughterhouse workers tearing the heads off live birds, spitting tobacco in birds’ eyes and spray painting birds’ faces. The group wants the fast food restaurant to switch to more modern and less cruel slaughter methods that would eliminate the abuses that chickens endure.

In the past year, other restaurant chains such as Quiznos, Subway and Ruby Tuesday have implemented more humane procedures.

“The bottom line is that there is no justifying a life of constant agony for any animal when it can be easily prevented,” says Rajt. “In some ways chickens are actually smarter than dogs or cats. And they certainly have the same capacity to feel pain like all animals do.”

Local News

Food Council Will Discuss Yum Brands Proposal

Created to combat obesity, the Louisville’s Food Policy Advisory Council will hold its second meeting Tuesday where it will it discuss a proposal by Yum Brands to authorize certain food stamp recipients to use their vouchers at fast food restaurants.

Local food advocates have criticized the Louisville-based company for lobbying state government to allow the disabled, elderly and homeless to use their vouchers at their restaurant,

The 25-member panel was appointed by Mayor Greg Fischer to propose innovative solutions to create a vibrant food system, but has yet to release a statement in regards to the plan though many members have begun to raise their concerns.

Policy member James Neumann, who co-owns ValuMarket, says Yum’s idea would go against local efforts to bring healthier foods to impoverished neighborhoods known as food deserts.

Local News

Yum Brands Earnings Slightly Below Expectations

The latest financial report from Louisville-based Yum Brands is slightly below expectations.

The fast food giant’s first-quarter earnings were 63 cents per share, one cent below Wall Street analysts’ predictions. The report still shows an increase over the same period last year, when the company reported earnings of 59 cents per share.

But shares have been trading slightly higher, likely due to an increase in business in China, where Yum Brands is expanding.

Local News Next Louisville Politics

Community Farm Alliance Releases Letter Against Yum Brands Food Stamp Proposal

The Community Farm Alliance has released a letter outlining the organization’s opposition to Louisville-based Yum Brands’ proposal to allow certain food stamps recipients to use their vouchers at fast food restaurants.

Yum is asking Governor Steve Beshear to make the exception for disabled, elderly and homeless recipients. The CFA already took a stand against the change, but on Monday, the group’s vice president Cassia Herron released a letter encouraging Kentuckians to contact Beshear about the issue.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Community Farm Alliance Comes Out Against YUM Brands Food Stamp Proposal

The Community Farm Alliance is encouraging Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear to reject a policy that would allow certain food stamp recipients to use their vouchers at fast food restaurants.

Louisville-based Yum Brands is lobbying the state to authorize food stamp use at restaurants by the disabled, elderly and homeless. The fast food giant believes the change would not only be good for business, but it will help those who are underserved and cannot prepare hot meals for themselves.

Farm alliance board member Beth Nolte says the change would push unhealthy meals into vulnerable communities that lack quality produce options.

Local News

Today on State of the News

With a government shut-down looming and questions about how such a step would affect the average citizen, Phillip M. Bailey joins us to talk about what lawmakers from Kentucky and Indiana have been saying about the budget impasse and what next week could bring. Rick Howlett reports on a snag in plans to re-open Kentucky Kingdom, and Indiana’s defeated smoking bill.

They’ll also fill us in on a controversial proposal that would allow food stamps to be used to purchase fast food from Yum! Brands restaurants. Then we’ll join our colleagues at The Easter Standard, live from Keeneland with a conversation about the future of Kentucky’s racing industry, with the presidents of Keeneland, Turfway, and Churchill Downs.