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Oxfam highlights progress made by food companies on social & environmental issues

Oxfam's "Behind the Brands" campaign scores the 10 biggest food companies in the world on seven issues: climate change, water, women, workers, smallholder farmers, land, and transparency.  For the original report from February 2013 and company responses, see here.

In October 2014, the campaign has released an updated set of scores and a summary analysis on progress the companies have made.

Behind the Brands scorecard (October 2014)

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Article
16 December 2014

Commentary on food companies' commitments on climate change, land grabs & small-scale farmers

Author: Anna Kramer, Oxfam

"These 10 companies make a lot of the food we buy. Here’s how we made them better.", 10 Dec 2014

It sounds like a conspiracy theory, but it’s true: There really are 10 companies that control most of the food and drinks you’ll find in the grocery store...So why should these huge companies care about doing business responsibly? First, because their global operations touch countless lives...Second, because shoppers these days think about factors like fairness and sustainability—and we’re increasingly (and successfully) demanding that the brands we buy do the same...Here’s a closer look at three of those issues and some big changes powered by people like you...[Examples of company commitments on climate change, land grabs, fairness for cocoa farmers by Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelez, Nestlé, Unilever]

Article
15 October 2014

Summary of companies' progress & opportunity for further action

Author: Danielle Smith, Oxfam

"Food giants are listening to demands for sustainability", 9 Oct 2014

Since the last update of the Behind the Brands scorecard in February 2014, all of the Big 10 have published new policies or assessments relating to the issues covered within the campaign. The latest update of the scorecard sees all companies apart from Danone improving their score in at least one of the seven themes...The greatest improvements in score have been recorded by PepsiCo (with an increase of 11% since February 2014), followed by the company previously ranked 10th, General Mills (with an increase of 9%)...The two companies at the top of the scorecard, Nestlé and Unilever also saw significant increases of 6% and 7% respectively, with both having demonstrated real improvements in their approach to responsible sourcing...There is a unique opportunity for pre-competitive collaboration among the Big 10, where companies can systematically engage suppliers within shared supply chains, share best practice with peers, engage in advocacy towards governments and other regulators, and work with NGOs and community groups that are crucial in addressing many of the issues highlighted in the Behind the Brands campaign...There is still significant scope for all ten companies to improve across the seven themes of the scorecard. For example, while we've seen incremental improvements in the water and transparency themes, there remains much potential for bolder steps.

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