Companies That Control the World’s Food

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Associated British Foods plc
> Revenue: $21.1 billion
> Advertising spending: N/A
> Profits: $837 million
> Employees: 112,652

Associated British Foods is a U.K. food manufacturer that has built out a global presence largely through acquisitions. Associated British Foods operates sugar factories, sells food ingredients to wholesale and industry customers, and manufactures consumer products such as Mazola corn oil and Twinings tea. According to Oxfam, the company received low marks for its practices in water use, having failed to conduct impact assessments, while also failing to adopt strong practices in managing its water supply chain.

The Coca-Cola Company
> Revenue: $46.9 billion
> Advertising spending: $3.0 billion
> Profits: $8.6 billion
> Employees: 130,600

Coca-Cola is among the most valuable brands in the world. In total, Coca-Cola and its bottlers sold sold 28.2 billion cases worth of drinks, of which 47% were “trademark Coca-Cola.” In total, sales for The Coca-Cola Company were nearly $47 billion in its latest fiscal year. Overall, The Coca-Cola Company scores well for a number of practices, including addressing inequality for women working in production and supporting female empowerment for workers in its supply chain. The company is also well-rated for its land-management practices.

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Groupe Danone S.A.
> Revenue: $29.3 billion
> Advertising spending: $1.2 billion
> Profits: $2.0 billion
> Employees: 104,642

France’s Groupe Danone has a truly global presence. Its largest market, by sales, is Russia, followed by France, the U.S., China, and Indonesia. According to the company, Danone is the world’s largest seller of fresh dairy products, which accounted for 11.8 billion euros in revenue, or over half of the company’s total sales in 2013. Danone is also among the world’s largest sellers of early life nutrition products and bottled waters. Danone received high scores for its policies in a number of major issues, including transparency and managing water resources. However, the company also received low scores in other policies, including its handling of land and farming issues. Danone received the lowest score of any company from Oxfam for its policies regarding women’s issues in agricultural production.