When it comes to rating big food brands like Kellogg's and Coca-Cola, Oxfam America looked beyond their flavor, price value, and even the content of their nutrition. Instead, it was more about each company's environmental and social impact in the countries they set up manufacturing plants. The non-profit organization recently ranked the worst offending food and beverage companies as part of their Behind the Brands campaign.
These companies take in roughly a billion dollars per day, according to Oxfam America. And yet, they are not addressing how their businesses affect “millions of people in developing countries who supply [the] land, labor, water and commodities needed to make their products.” Dubbed the “Big 10,” Kellogg's and General Mills — each at an overall 23% in environmental and social progress — are among the worst, with Coca-Cola, Unilever, and Nestle scoring just a bit better on issues like poverty and gender inequality that arise as a result of their presence.
On a scale of one through 10, companies are rated on their company policies in general categories like land, women, climate, and transparency. There are slivers of positivity in this rank of the worst in the report. On managing impact on local water resources, Pepsi has acknowledged water as a human right and Nestle has worked with suppliers in water management. Meanwhile, Mondelez, Danone, Unilever, Coca-Cola and Mars each share agricultural emission figures with the public.
But according to the report, these efforts are not enough. In a media release, the organization's president Raymond C. Offenheiser has said, “No company emerges with passing grades. Across the board all ten companies are failing.”
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