Near the top of our scorecard, the owner of Ben & Jerry’s and Lipton scores well on supporting small-scale farmers, workers rights and managing water usage, but its record on women’s rights and land rights leaves plenty to be desired.
We assessed publicly available information on the policies and commitments of the 'Big 10' food companies towards the sourcing of agricultural commodities from developing countries. The Scorecard looks at seven themes, weighing each theme equally. The index tackles some cutting edge issues that will require rigorous debate and dialogue between companies, civil society and industry experts. Find out more...
Unilever's awareness of land issues and efforts to tackle deforestation score it higher than others. It needs to explicitly commit to addressing land disputes in its supply chain, though.
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Unilever’s weakest area. It has a general understanding of the vital role women play in its supply chain, but needs to do more to ensure equal treatment, rights and pay.
Farmers are likely to get a better deal with Unilever than with many companies. The company understands farmers’ issues and is addressing them. More could be done to ensure suppliers’ are treating farmers fairly, however.
Unilever specifically recognizes many major issues and international standards, and has made some strong commitments. It could still improve its supply chain management, though.
The only one of the Big Ten to insist that suppliers reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture, Unilever still needs to do more to help farmers respond to climate change.
It might be forthcoming about the volumes of commodities it sources and about its lobbying, but Unilever is fairly secretive about its suppliers.
Plenty to be proud of – Unilever understands the value of water and is honest about its own usage – but plenty still to do – like setting a target for reduction of water use right through its supply chain.