Although the leading companies in the food and drink sector still have to do more to improve their social and environmental impact on poorer countries this past year, development organization Oxfam praised the food giants' investment in the developing world.
Nestlé top of the class
Particularly Nestlé and Coca-Cola have received good grades, because Oxfam believes both companies have taken huge strides forwards, increasing their lead on the competition. Nestlé is currently number one in Oxfam’s list, with Unilever, Coca-Cola, Mondelez, PepsiCo, Mars, Danone, Kellogg, AB Foods and General Mills also in the top 10. Of those top companies, only General Mills did not make any progress in 2013.
Oxfam had launched its “Behind the Brands” campaign a year ago, focusing on the impact big brands have on society, on how they get their resources, on how child labour is still in effect at cacao plantations and how the palm oil industry is affecting tropical rainforests.The organization had asked consumers and investment funds to pressurize these companies to consider more sustainable methods, with 395,000 consumers answering the call.
Whoever gets left behind, will pay the price
The biggest advances were made in regards to land conservation, climate change policies and gender equality. Coca-Cola does not want any resources which came from stolen land, while Nestlé, Mondelez, Mars, Kellogg and Unilever have helped women’s rights by signing the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles or by improving the position of women in the supply chain.
"Those that are not moving fast enough will pay a price with the public, investors and communities in the field", director Chris Jochnick said to press agency Reuters. Oxfam will be focusing on climate change in 2014.