Shining a spotlight

A critical assessment of food and beverage companies' delivery of sustainability commitments

Publication date: 17 March 2021
Authors: Emma Fawcett, Suzanne Zweben

From 2013 to 2016, Oxfam's Behind the Brands campaign called on the world’s 10 biggest food and beverage companies to adopt stronger social and environmental sourcing policies and spurred significant commitments on women’s empowerment, land rights and climate change. Now, as the coronavirus pandemic worsens inequality and food insecurity around the world, we assess whether the companies have taken meaningful steps to implement the commitments they made in response to the campaign. 

In this report we find that while companies have taken action at the global level, progress stalls in translating those approaches to countries and through supply chains. There are positive examples and innovations happening in key sourcing countries. But key blockages must be addressed – including by providing the right incentives, disclosing suppliers and supporting suppliers to take up the agenda – to create change at scale.