The ten biggest food and beverage companies in the world are slowly waking up to their responsibilities to help tackle some immense challenges facing the global food system.
The problems facing our food system are stark: 840 million people hungry, more than one billion overweight, climate change threatening crop yields and the supply of fresh water, competition for land and water leading to conflict and unrest. Within this system, enormous influence rests in the hands of just a few giant brands that have the power to help change the system for everyone. In a world with 7 billon food consumers and 1.5 billion food producers, no more than 500 companies control 70 percent of food choice.
Just ten of those companies, the ‘Big 10’, Associated British Foods (ABF) Coca-Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelez International Nestle, PepsiCo and Unilever, together earn more than $1.1 billion per day. Their annual revenues of more than $450 billion are equivalent to the GDP of all of the world’s low-income countries combined. Their supply chains are linked to every part of the system, from the farmers to consumers. Shifts in how they do business ripple throughout the world’s food system.