Associated British Foods
Diversified international food, ingredients and retail group operating in 47 countries. 54.5% owned by Wittington Investments, a company controlled by the founding Weston family.
|Associated British Foods PLC||UK||website|
| Wittington Investments Ltd
owns 55% of Associated British Foods PLC
Wittington Investments is controlled by the Weston Family, and is the ultimate holding company of Associated British Foods plc (ABF), one of Europe's largest food companies and owners of George Weston Foods in Australia.
| Garfield Weston Foundation
owns 79% of Wittington Investments Ltd
Founded 1958. The Weston family controls a string of businesses through this charitable trust, including Associated British Foods, Primark and Fortnum & Mason. Owns nearly 80% of Wittington Investments, its main source of income.
|Associated British Foods PLC|
In 2022, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to manage and govern freshwater resources. Responding companies are scored on six key metrics: transparency; governance & strategy; measuring & monitoring; risk assessment; targets & goals; and value chain engagement. This company received a CDP Water Security Score of B-.
Source: CDP (2022)
A 2015 investigation by the BBC has found workers on Indian tea plantations who pick tea for this company are paid less than Â£2 per day and live in inhuman conditions. Living and working conditions are so bad, and wages so low, that tea workers and their families are left malnourished and vulnerable to fatal illnesses. There was also a disregard for health and safety, with workers spraying chemicals without protection, and on some estates, child labour being used.
Source: BBC (2015)
Forest 500 identifies the 350 companies and 150 financial institutions with the greatest exposure to tropical deforestation risk, and annually assesses them on the strength and implementation of their deforestation and human rights commitments. This company received a score of 25%.
Source: Forest 500 (2022)
This company scores Ethical Consumer's worst rating for their use of palm oil, signifying they are using no or minimal certified palm products, and with no or minimal positive commitments.
Source: Ethical Consumer (2022)
The WWF Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard 2021 assesses 227 companies on the actions companies have taken to ensure their own palm oil supply chain is sustainable and free of deforestation, natural ecosystem conversion, and human rights abuse. This company is rated 'lagging behind' with a score of 10.47 out of a possible total of 24.
Source: WWF Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard (2021)
The 2022 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assessed 127 companies in the food and agriculture, ICT and automotive manufacturing sectors on their human rights performance. This company received a score of 15.4%. The overall average score was a disappointing 17.3% and the highest score was 50.3%.
Source: World Benchmarking Alliance (2022)
In 2020/21 KnowTheChain benchmarked over 180 large global companies in the ICT, Food & Beverage, and Apparel & Footwear sectors on their efforts to address forced labour and human trafficking in their supply chains. This company received a score of 26/100.
Source: KnowTheChain (2021)
This company scores Ethical Consumer's worst rating for the likely use of tax avoidance strategies, and has at least two high risk subsidiaries in tax havens.
Source: Ethical Consumer (2022)
This company received an S&P Global ESG Score of 33/100 in the Food Products category of the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment, an annual evaluation of companies' sustainability practices (last updated 21 Oct 2022). The rankings are based on an analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate governance, risk management, environmental reporting, climate strategy, human rights and labour practices.
Source: S&P Global (2022)
Primark is an Irish clothing retailer operating 271 stores throughout western Europe, and a subsidiary of Associated British Foods. Primark has been criticised for worker exploitation.
Source: Shop Ethical online profile (2014)
In Feb 2013 ActionAid (UK) released a report revealing that this company is dodging its tax bill in Zambia, one of the world's poorest countries. ActionAid claims ABF has avoided an estimated US$27 million in taxes in Zambia since 2007, where the company operates a sugar company. ABF denies the allegations (http://bit.ly/1j7m8l6).
Source: ActionAid (2013)
This company received a score of 34.2/100 in the Newsweek Green Rankings 2016, which ranks the world's largest publicly traded companies on eight indicators covering energy, greenhouse gases, water, waste, fines and penalties, linking executive pay to sustainability targets, board-level committee oversight of environmental issues and third-party audits. Ranking methodology by Corporate Knights and HIP Investor.
Source: Newsweek (2016)
This company has a number of sustainability claims on its website in the areas of renewable energy, worker safety, packaging reductions and ethical business practices
Source: company website (2014)
In 2022, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts towards removing commodity-driven deforestation and forest degradation from its direct operations and supply chains. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Forests Score of C.
Source: CDP (2022)
In 2022, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change risk. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Climate Change Score of C.
Source: CDP (2022)
California, the UK and Australia have all enacted legislation requiring companies operating within their borders to disclose their efforts to eradicate modern slavery from their operations and supply chains. Follow the link to see this company's disclosure statement.
Source: company website (2018)
The 2020 Sustainable Cotton Ranking, published by WWF, Solidaridad and the Pesticide Action Network UK analysed the 77 largest cotton users among international apparel brands and retailers, reviewing their policies, actual uptake of more sustainable cotton and transparency in their supply chains. According to the report, this company is "starting the journey" with a score of 16.8%. The average score was 18.2% and the highest score was 79.2%.
Source: Sustainable Cotton Ranking (2020)
The 2021 Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) report ranks global food companies on how they are managing and reporting their farm animal welfare policies and practices. This company appeared in tier 4, "Making progress on implementation", with tier 1 being the best, and tier 6 the worst.
Source: BBFAW (2021)
Friends of the Earth's 2014 report "Tiny Ingredients, Big Risks" names this company as one of over 200 transnational food companies engaged in nanotechnology research and development, and on their way to commercializing products. New studies are adding to a growing body of scientific evidence indicating nanomaterials may be toxic to humans and the environment.
Source: FOE (2014)
The 2021 Food and Agriculture Benchmark assessed 350 keystone companies across the entirety of the food system, from farm to fork. It covers three dimensions where transformation is needed: nutrition, environment and social inclusion. This company ranked #88/350, with a total score of 29.4/100.
Source: World Benchmarking Alliance (2021)
|Wittington Investments Ltd|
Wittington Investments subsidiary Fortnum & Mason has been targeted by PETA for continuing to sell foie gras. Foie gras is made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been force fed grain through a tube for the last 12-18 days of its life under factory farm conditions. More than a dozen countries have prohibited foie gras production due to animal welfare concerns.
Source: PETA (2020)
UK-based protest group, UK Uncut, targeted Wittington Investments during protests in March 2011 for their tax avoidance policies.
Source: UK Uncut (2011)
Brands in 'bread' category received BOTTOM Rating; with a score of 46 out of a possible score of 100 in the Ethical Company Organisation's 'Good Shopping Guide' (UK), which evaluates brands with regard to their environmental, animal welfare and human rights records.
Source: Ethical Company Organisation (UK) (2023)
|Garfield Weston Foundation|
In 2010, the UK Charity Commission found that some of the family members who run the Garfield Weston Foundation allowed an investment company it controlled (Wittington Investments) to make illegal political donations between 1993 and 2007. The Charity Commission also found that the charity's nine trustees breached their duties in January 2006 by voting for a resolution allowing Wittington to make donations without giving proper consideration.
Source: news article (2010)
The Garfield Weston Foundation gives grants to UK registered charities, with the exception of animal welfare charities. Organisations with an 'exempt' or 'excepted' status such as churches, hospitals, educational establishments and housing corporations may also apply for grants.
Source: company website (2012)
|Revenue||15.6 billion GBP (2018)|
|Subsidiaries||George Weston Foods Ltd
One of Australia and New Zealand's largest food manufacturers, employing over 6,000 employees across 40 sites. George Weston Foods bought Tip Top Bakeries (1949), George Chapmans (1987), Don Smallgoods (1999), Melosi (1995), Jasol (1986), AGB (2007) KR Castlemaine (2008) and Yumi's (2018).
- Yumi's Quality Foods Pty Ltd
Founded in Melbourne in 1990. Australian private equity firm Anacacia Capital bought an undisclosed stake in Jan 2014. George Weston Foods became full owners in 2018.
Italian balsamic vinegar producer acquired by Associated British Foods in 2017.
AB Food & Beverages Australia Pty Ltd
Powdered food products manufacturing
Australia's #2 hot beverages company. Like George Weston Foods, this company is owned by European food and beverages giant, AB Foods.
R. Twining & Co Ltd
Established in 1706. Twinings is a founder member of the Ethical Tea Partnership formed in 1997. See www.ethicalteapartnership.org
Primark Stores Ltd
Silver Spoon Company
Established in 1972 as the retail brand of ABF owned British Sugar.
Jordans & Ryvita Company (62% owned)
ABF merged its Ryvita subsidiary with Jordans cereal business in 2008, and in 2014 they acquired Dorset cereals.
- The Jordans and Ryvita Company Australia Pty Ltd
Commenced in Australia in 2014 stocking at Coles and Woolworths supermarkets.
|Address||Weston Centre, 10 Grosvenor St, London, United Kingdom|
Products / BrandsGeorge Weston Foods
9 Grain Bread
Abbott's Village Bakery Bread
Bagle House Bread
Bazaar Flat Bread
English Muffins Bread
Jasol Multi-Purpose Cleaners
Kitchen Collection Flour & Bread Mix
KR Castlemaine Smallgoods/Pork
Pataks Cooking Sauce
The One Bread
Tip Top Bread
Tip Top Flour & Bread Mix
Tip Top Flat Bread
Titan Multi-Purpose Cleaners
Yumi's Quality Foods
Yumi's Frozen Fish
Yumi's Vegetarian & Vegan
Twinings & Co
Jarrah Milk Flavouring
Ovaltine Milk Flavouring
Billington's (sucrose) Sugar & Sweeteners
Jordans and Ryvita Company Australia
Dorset Cereals Muesli & Oats
Jordans Muesli & Oats