Companies included in the food processors and manufacturers segment are active in processing or manufacturing of any type of consumer food or beverage product.
The top three companies in the food and beverage manufacturers and processors segment are also the top three performers in the benchmark overall, namely Unilever, Nestlé and Danone, with the top ten completed by a mixture of processing-only companies in Anheuser-Busch Inbev (fourth), PepsiCo (fifth), Diageo (eigth) and Kellogg’s (ninth), dairy cooperative Fonterra (seventh) and retailers with own-brand product ranges in Tesco (seventh) and Coles Group (tenth). Multiple alcoholic beverage companies make it into the top 25, with relatively strong disclosure on reducing plastic use and packaging waste and water use. The high representation of processors and manufacturers towards the top end of the overall ranking reflects how leading companies in this segment are demonstrating a holistic understanding of their role within food system transformation.
However, many of their peers are demonstrating a weak overall performance across multiple topics considered key to the segment. While many have outlined sustainable development strategies or set sustainability targets in relation to governance and strategy, the majority underperform on key environmental issues. For example, only six companies set holistic targets, and report progress against them, for eliminating deforestation in their supply chain and similarly, only ten report such an approach to improving soil health and agrobiodiversity. Given that this is the largest segment in terms of companies, the fact that only 9% have scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emission targets which are aligned to a 1.5-degrees warming trajectory is concerning.
In nutrition, less than half of the segment demonstrate that they are collectively addressing both the key topics of increasing the availability, and the accessibility and affordability, of healthy foods. Furthermore, the majority also fail to support responsible marketing commitments with associated commercial activities. In social inclusion, benchmark-wide findings on child and forced labour are also reflected in this segment, with most companies lacking significant disclosure on efforts to prevent these.