Oxfam's Behind the Brands scorecard finds top 10 food companies improve policies but need implementation

Oxfam's Behind the Brands campaign rates the 10 biggest food & beverage companies on how their policies address 7 key issue areas: land rights, women's rights, support for small farmers, workers' rights, climate, transparency, and water.  The March 2015 scorecard update shows the progress some companies have made in improving on these areas, but also reveals shortcomings, especially in implementation.  See previous company scorecards here.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the companies to respond - see responses below.

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Article
20 April 2015

Behind the Brands 2015 company scorecard update

Author: Oxfam

We’ve looked at the biggest food companies’ policies on issues from water to women, the way they expect their suppliers to behave on these issues, and what they do to measure and improve their impact on every worker and farmer who makes their ingredients. After 2 years of campaigning your pressure is making a difference. People have taken  over 700,000 actions demanding more from the Big Ten companies and their scores are starting to improve – but all of them still need to do more to make the global food system work for all.

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Company response
20 April 2015

Mars response

Author: Mars

Mars welcomes the latest Behind the Brands report, and we are pleased that it recognizes the progress companies have made in their policies and practices. We agree with the report’s emphasis on women in farming and on land and worker rights, and we know there is still much more work to do in these areas. Real progress will require a number of stakeholders working together to reach meaningful solutions, and we value our work with Oxfam in that effort

Company response
15 April 2015

General Mills response

Author: General Mills

Sustainability is a business imperative and each year we make progress in areas that are most material to our business – from our 10x20 sustainable sourcing commitment, to our best-in-class watershed stewardship work, to our work with smallholder farms around the world. Our goal is to conserve and protect the natural resources and communities on which our business depends and to date, we’ve made great progress inside our operations and across our supply chain. However, we recognize that there is still much to be done and we are committed to doing it.

[Download full response for information on supporting vulnerable people in supply chains adapt to the impacts of climate change]

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Company response
14 April 2015

Coca-Cola response

Author: Coca-Cola

The Coca-Cola Company Response: March 2015 Behind the Brands update

The Coca-Cola Company fully recognizes that consumer expectations are high for brands and are tied increasingly to respect for the values and the actions of the company that provides it.  Grounded and framed by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which The Coca-Cola Company endorsed in 2011, we are working to implement practices throughout our supply chain that advance our sustainable agriculture strategy and support our commitment to build more sustainable communities in the 200 countries and territories where we operate.... 

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Company response
14 April 2015

PepsiCo response

Author: PepsiCo

PepsiCo believes acting ethically and responsibly is not only the right thing to do, but also the right thing for our business.  We created a Global Supplier Code of Conduct, which clarifies our global expectations in the areas of business integrity, labor practices, associate health and safety and environmental management.  To further enhance the Supplier Code of Conduct, PepsiCo continues to implement more rigorous processes around accountability, engagement, risk assessment and mitigation.  In addition, we have a number of programs and interconnected, complementary policies that were developed to holistically address the potential issues and challenges in agriculture production and supply chain..

[Download full response for information on supporting vulnerable people in supply chains adapt to the impacts of climate change]

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Company response
13 April 2015

Mondelez response

Author: Mondelez

We’re pleased Oxfam has been raising awareness for these important issues, and we appreciate they’re recognizing our ongoing work in advancing the rights of women in the cocoa supply chain.

[Download full response for information on supporting vulnerable people in supply chains adapt to the impacts of climate change]

Download the full document here

Company response
13 April 2015

Nestlé response

Author: Nestlé

We commend Oxfam for the constructive manner in which it presents the challenging issues highlighted in this report. We are pleased that we continue to be ranked among the top two companies in the scorecard. We are also proud to be one of the two companies to receive a “good” score for our efforts to ensure security of land tenure for farmers and local communities….[W]e recognise that improving food security worldwide requires a lot more work by all stakeholders…We have looked closely at areas where the report has identified room for improvement such as gender issues and will continue to take firm steps in this direction…[W]e have made greenhouse gas…emissions reduction and climate change adaptation a focus area in our Nestlé Policy on Environmental Sustainability…During UN Climate Week 2014, we endorsed ambitious commitments on climate change.  We are especially committed to helping farmers adapt to climate impacts…

[Download full response for information on supporting vulnerable people in supply chains adapt to the impacts of climate change]

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Company response
13 April 2015

Unilever response

Author: Unilever

Pier Luigi Sigismondi, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Unilever said: “We are committed to promoting human rights across our supply chain. Our employees are focussed on delivering this as part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan and work with many partners to push standards and boundaries where necessary. I am delighted this has been recognised by Oxfam. However, we are under no illusion about the scale of the challenge that remains and recognise where improvements can be made. One area of focus this year will be on empowering women in our supply chain. We will continue to drive change across our business and industry and call on others to do the same."

[Download full response for information on supporting vulnerable people in supply chains adapt to the impacts of climate change]

Download the full document here

Company response
10 April 2015

Danone response

Author: Danone

Oxfam’s 2015 report reminds readers that food companies need to include upstream supply-chain issues in their corporate policies and commitments. Danone recognizes the value of such approach and takes the sustainability of its upstream supply chain very seriously, making this an integral part of its dual project to business success and social progress. Danone takes into consideration its decreasing score due to the fact Danone didn’t publish so far policies dedicated to each of the topics selected by Oxfam…Danone has been working on the issues cited by Oxfam for many years…[and] regrets its actions on the field are not recognized by Oxfam as well as its efforts & its willingness to work openly on a continuous progress path…In September 2014, Danone confirmed its approach and commitments in a White Paper on sustainable farming…Danone’s Nature 2020 program is built around four strategic priorities—climate (1), water (2), packaging (3) and agriculture (4)… Drawing on its experience, Danone will soon publish its policies on agriculture, water and climate…

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Company response
10 April 2015

Kellogg response

Author: Kellogg

We understand that people expect social and environmental responsibility from their favorite brands and companies. They also care about where their food comes from and how it is grown. While we’re proud to see Oxfam’s latest scorecard recognizes our company’s progress, especially in the area of climate change and transparency, we recognize that there’s always an opportunity to do more.

[Download full response for information on supporting vulnerable people in supply chains adapt to the impacts of climate change]

Download the full document here