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...
General Mills needs to step up in a big way. It recognizes ‘Free, Prior, and Informed Consent’ in its palm oil policy, but that’s not enough to ensure that it and its suppliers aren’t pushing people off their land.
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General Mills recently signed on to the UN’s Women’s Empowerment Principles, which is a good step forward. For many years the company has been implementing projects to promote women producers as well as intentionally sourcing from women farmers but in every other category, the company falls short.
The company shows a better understanding of the situation of small-scale farmers in its supply chain and it runs projects to support farmers. However, General Mills still fails to identify the numbers of small-scale farmers it sources from – and doesn’t ask suppliers to protect farmers’ rights
General Mills has a slow but steady improvement on worker issues. The company still needs to establish a constructive and ongoing dialogue with its workers’ union.
General Mills made a significant leap in its policies on climate change in 2014 and 2015. As one of the first food and beverage companies in the world, they have set a target to reduce emissions from agriculture and engage in meaningful calls for climate action through the company’s advocacy efforts.
General Mills has been making consistent improvements in its transparency. It provides more information on suppliers and sourcing countries of certain key commodities while starting to disclose its sourcing volumes.
General Mills is refreshingly honest about the water it uses. The company has even released its assessments of key watersheds - the first company we have seen to do so. It however has yet to set a target for reduction of water use right through its supply chain.