Oxfam survey slams food companies
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February 26 2013, 11:00AM
SYDNEY, Feb 26 AAP - More than three quarters of Australian shoppers say they are not given enough information about where the groceries they buy come from, according to a new survey.
The survey by international aid agency Oxfam found that 84 per cent of Australians want more information on product packaging about how their food and drink is made and its place of origin.
The online survey of 1000 respondents conducted this month and released on Tuesday found that more than half of those surveyed don't trust the world's ten biggest food and drink companies.
It coincides with the global launch of Oxfam's Behind the Brands report ranking those companies on their social and environmental policies and how they conduct business in poor countries.
Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Officer Helen Szoke said the report revealed that major brands including Coca-Cola, Kellogg's and Mars were failing millions of workers who produced the food and drink we buy.
She said the Australian survey found almost half of respondents said they would stop buying their favourite brands if a company's policies and practices weren't up to scratch.
"And 60 per cent believe their shopping habits can make a difference in the lives of farmers and workers in poorer countries," Dr Szoke said.
She said the Behind the Brands report showed the world's most powerful food and drink companies producing iconic brands like Kellogg's and Vegemite were overly secretive about where products came from and how they were made.
Dr Szoke said none of the big brands had publicly committed to paying farmers a fair price or to eliminating discrimination against women in food production.
The report also found the companies lacked policies to protect communities from having their land and water taken without their consent, she said.
The Oxfam report found Nestle was the highest performing company followed by Unilever, Coca Cola, Pepsico, Mars, Danone, Mondelez (formerly Kraft) and General Mills.
Despite being seen as the most ethical brand in the Australian survey, Kellogg's was second to last to Associated British Foods which was the worst performing company in the survey.