Questions to consider when analysing companies exposed to the food and beverages industry
In order to make ethical decisions about companies exposed to the food and beverages industry, it will be important to ask questions about their policies and performance both generally and more specifically with regard to health and nutrition. A list of possible questions that might be relevant to companies in the food and beverage production, processing, distribution or retail sectors is set out below.
- Does the company engage with governments on issues which will have an impact on their ability to operate ethically, for example labour legislation?
- Does the company collaborate with partners and organisations to drive sustainable and ethical sourcing and retail practices?
- Does the company have good reporting and transparency on environmental, social and governance issues generally?
- Is the company taking initiatives to make its supply chain more sustainable and resilient to major changes both social and environmental?
Nutrition, health and food security
- Is the company building resilient and sustainable supply chains? Does the company work with its supply chain to support the development of sustainable farming methods and marine management?
- Does the company offer a range of foods which are accessible and affordable for low-income communities?
- Does the company have a policy to reduce food waste both within its own operations and in its supply chain?
- Is the company a signatory of the CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) supply chains program?
- Does the company offer a broad range of food options, including healthy options at an affordable price?
- Has the company signed up to the government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal commitments?
- Does the company make efforts to educate its customers on health, nutrition and well-being?
- Does the company clearly label its food products with easily understandable nutritional information such as the through the traffic light system or providing information on percentage of GDA?
- Do the company’s marketing practices encourage a healthy & balanced diet, including product placement, pricing and offers?
- Is the company’s marketing responsible in terms of who it targets?
- Does the company comply with government regulations with regards to GM foods and the labelling of products containing them?
- Does the company’s marketing of breastmilk substitutes meet with national and international regulations?
- Does the company have management and audit processes in place to ensure that the regulations are complied with and make efforts to investigate where there are allegations of code breaches?