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ActionAid report into tax avoidance by Associated British Foods in Zambia

In February 2013 ActionAid released a report, “Sweet nothings”, examining the tax practices of Associated British Foods, looking particularly at the activities of its Zambian subsidiary, Zambian Sugar. 

The report alleges that since 2007 (when Associated British Foods took over the Illovo sugar group, which owns Zambian Sugar) Zambian Sugar has generated profits of $123 million but has paid “virtually no corporate tax” in Zambia.  The report argues that as a result of Associated British Foods/Illovo’s tax avoidance, Zambian public services have lost millions.

Below are links to the full report and a selection of media coverage including videos.

ActionAid exposes tax avoidance by Associated British Food Group in Zambia, ActionAid, 7 Feb 2013

Sweet nothings: The human cost of a British sugar giant avoiding taxes in Southern Africa [PDF], ActionAid, 7 Feb 2013

ActionAid explain how they exposed tax avoidance by a British company in Zambia - video, Daniel Boffey, Guardian (UK), 9 Feb 2013

Sugar manufacturer Associated British Foods avoids paying corporate tax in Zambia - video, Daniel Boffey, Guardian (UK), 9 Feb 2013             

Zambia Sugar brands ActionAid report on tax evasion as inaccurate, Lusaka Times, 11 Feb 2013

Company statements

Associated British Foods/Illovo has made the following statements in response to ActionAid’s report:

Associated British Foods response to ActionAid [PDF], 28 Nov 2012 & 18 Jan 2013

Statement on ActionAid report, 9 Feb 2013

Media statement on ActionAid report, 10 Feb 2013

See also "Tax avoidance - an introduction" by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre