Oxfam launched its award-winning international Behind the Brands campaign in February 2013. It ranks the biggest international food and beverage companies, the ‘Big 10’, on the strength of their policies on transparency, women, agricultural workers, farmers, land, water and climate change.
The aim of the campaign is to create a race to the top, encouraging the Big 10 (Associated British Foods (ABF), Coca-Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelez, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever) to improve their policies and practices.
- The Big 10 continue to thrive while many small-scale producers and agricultural workers struggle to sustain their families and realize their rights. Women continue to be disproportionately affected.
- Leading companies on women’s rights are now only beginning to properly understand and recognize issues faced by women in their supply chains. Every one of the Big 10 still falls short of upholding sufficient guidelines and standards for their suppliers on this issue.
- In developing countries, on average women account for 43% of the agricultural labor force, making gender equality and women’s empowerment central to increasing productivity and reducing poverty. However, women’s rights is the second lowest scoring theme: Eight of the Big 10 companies score five or below. This is despite efforts from Mars, Mondelez and Nestlé to follow through on commitments to do more for women’s rights in their cocoa supply chains.
- Food and beverage companies must do far more. The farmers theme is now the lowest scoring theme in the scorecard, so it is time that companies did more to treat farmers, especially women farmers, more fairly throughout their supply chains.
- The Walking the Talk report presents the updated March 2015 scorecard showing changes in both the ranking of the ‘Big 10’ and changes to the thematic trends. Eight of the 10 companies improved their overall score since February 2014 and Unilever has now overtaken Nestlé to claim the number 1 spot. ABF and Dairy giant Danone have dropped in the rankings.