Associated British Foods (ABF) has been rated the least ethical firm among 10 food giants in a new report from Oxfam.
As part of a newly launched campaign, called Behind the Brand, a new scorecard has been published by the charity revealing how the UK’s largest food firms rated against each other, based on their policies on sourcing agricultural commodities from developing countries.
Based on publicly-available information, the Kingsmill bread producer scored 13 out of a possible 70, positioning last on Oxfam’s Behind the Brands: Food Companies Scorecard.
Scoring was based on seven different factors, with a rating of between one and 10, including transparency at corporate level, women farm workers and small-scale producers in the supply chain, and the rights and access to both land and water and the sustainable use of it.
ABF told the BBC News website that it treated local producers with the “utmost respect”.
ABF went up against the likes of General Mills, manufacturer of the Jus-Rol pastry products, as well as Kellogg’s, PepsiCo, Mars and Coca-Cola.
Nestlé, the company behind the Kit-Kat brand, came out on top of the list with a score of 38 out of 70, followed by Unilever, the producer of Flora butter products, which was marked 34 points in total.
Barbara Stocking, chief executive of Oxfam, said: “Consumers have the right to know how their food has been produced and the impact this has on the world’s poorest people who are growing the ingredients. Companies have a responsibility to treat local producers, communities and environments with respect.
“We are calling on the public to pile pressure on the ‘Big 10’ food and drinks companies, so they stop being part of the problem, and begin to play their part in providing solutions to the scandal that sees hundreds of millions of people go hungry, despite there being more than enough food in the world to feed everyone.”