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Buy from companies who care about food justice

Oxfam America released a Behind the Brands report in 2013 that measured how well the ten largest global food and beverage companies were doing in food justice based on seven criteria--women farm workers and producers, small-scale farmers, farm workers, sustainable water usage, access to land and sustainable use, climate change in terms of helping farmers to adapt and reducing emissions, and transparency at a corporate level.

The companies evaluated are Associated British Foods, Coca Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelez, Nestlé, Pepsico and Unilever. Together they generated revenue in excess of $1.1 billion every day in 2013. The top ten
also emitted 263.7 million tons of greenhouse gases in 2013.

The companies were awarded from 1 to 10 points in each of the criteria categories with 7 being the best and 1 the worst. The highest total possible was 70 points. Not one of the companies received higher than a 7 in any category. Kellogg, Mondelez and British Food never scored above 4. Nestle was the highest overall with a total of 398 points; Associated British Foods was lowest with 13 points.

The purpose of Oxfam America is reducing poverty and injustice worldwide. The organization continues a relationship with all of the companies in hopes that they will change policies and raise their scores which are on the Oxfam website. The original scores were calculated with 18 months of research on publicly available information and documents.

Then specific issues were targeted by Oxfam during the year with the first being women in the cocoa supply chain and particularly the companies of Nestle, Mars and Mondelez who were not addressing this discrimination against women. Both Nestle and Mars released statements on the issue saying they were interested in working with Oxfam to address the problem. A statement by Mondelez spokesperson Richard Buino cited their Cocoa Life program and work with the United Nations Development Program, World Wildlife Fund and Anti-Slavery International for developing "principles for success" and measurement and success reporting methods.

Oxfam America created a video that can be viewed on YouTube about the inequality, unfair pay and hunger for women who grow the cocoa for the chocolate for these companies. View the attached video on the Oxfam America research on these companies in relation to water scarcity. Encourage the companies to do better by writing letters and checking the Oxfam Behind the Brands website to see how their products are rated currently. Spend shopping dollars with the companies who care and are scoring the highest.

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