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Brands to avoid

They are well-known brands - but behind the way they operate there are a host of concerns.      Perhaps it's time to switch brands?


"The world's largest food and beverage companies may be profitable, but according to Oxfam International their practices are helping to destroy not only the natural resources that support a global food system but the lives of the people they depend on most: their employees and their customers.

In a new effort called Behind the Brand, part of their ongoing GROW campaign to fix the broken food system, Oxfam has singled out the ten largest food processing companies—Associated British Foods (ABF), Coca Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, Mondelez, Nestlé, Pepsico and Unilever—to make a singular statement about the failure of these behemoths to fulfill their social and environmental responsibilities."


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"The ‘Behind the Brands’ campaign also released this list of ways that the "Big 10" fail to meet their commitments:

  • While some of the “Big 10” have publicly committed to women's rights, none have committed to eliminating discrimination against women throughout their supply chains.

  • None of the companies have adequate policies to protect local communities from land and water grabs, despite all of them sourcing commodities plagued by land rights violations, such as palm oil, soy and sugar. Not one company has declared ‘zero tolerance’ against land grabs in their supply chains.

  • All ten companies are overly secretive about their agricultural supply chains, making their claims of ‘sustainability’ and ‘social responsibility’ difficult to verify. Nestle and Unilever are most open about the countries they source from, but no company is providing enough information about their suppliers.

  • Companies are generally increasing their overall water efficiency but most have failed to put policies in place to limit their impact on local water sources. Only Pepsi has publicly recognized water as a human right and committed to consult local communities. Nestle has developed guidelines for its suppliers to manage water and was ranked top for policies on water.

  • All of the companies have taken steps to reduce direct emissions, but only five – Mondelez, Danone, Unilever, Coca-Cola and Mars – publicly report on agricultural emissions associated with their products. Unilever alone has committed to halve its greenhouse gas footprint by 2020. None have yet developed policies to help farmers in their supply chains to build resilience to climate change.

  • None have publicly committed to pay a fair price to farmers or fair business arrangements with them across all agricultural operations. Only Unilever – which is top-ranked for its dealings with small-scale farmers – has specific supplier guidelines to address some key issues faced by farmers."

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