NEW YORK (February 26, 2013)– Today, WEDO partner, Oxfam, launched an exciting new campaign called “Behind the Brands” which evaluates where companies stand on social justice policies in comparison with their peers and challenges them to begin a race to the top ‟ to improve their social and environmental performance.” By targeting specific areas for improvement along the supply chain, the campaign pinpoints policy weaknesses and will work with others to shine a spotlight on the practices of these companies.”

Behind the Brands is a part of the GROW campaign. Oxfam’s GROW campaign aims to build a better food system: one that sustainably feeds a growing population (estimated to reach nine billion people in 2050) and empowers poor people to earn a living, feed their families and thrive.

Oxfam’s campaign focuses on 10 of the world’s most powerful food and beverage companies – Associated British Foods (ABF), Coca-Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelez Internatonal (previously Kraft Foods), Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever – and aims to increase the transparency and accountability of the Big 10 throughout the food supply chain. According to Oxfam’s analysis, the ‘Big 10’ companies – that together make $1 billion-a-day – are failing millions of people in developing countries who supply land, labor, water and commodities needed to make their products.

At its core, the campaign features the Behind the Brands scorecard. The scorecard examines company policies in seven areas critical to sustainable agricultural production, yet historically neglected by the food and beverage industry: women, small-scale farmers, farm workers, water, land, climate change, and transparency.

In Oxfam’s analysis, very few companies scored well on the women’s rights indicator –  the top score was 5 out of 10. One of the measures for this indicator is whether the company has signed on to Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP). Only two on the scorecard have—Pepsico and Coke.

To highlight the poor performance on gender across the board, Oxfam is launching a campaign action on women in the cocoa supply chain. They are calling on Mars, Mondelez and Nestle to:

LOOK: You must “know and show” how women are treated in your value chains by conducting regular assessments of conditions women workers and farmers face and publicly releasing the data.

LISTEN: You must adopt and enact principles and policies which address gender inequality such as the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles and advocate to governments and other industry leaders to do the same.

ACT: You must commit to transparently adapt an “action plan” to specifically increase opportunities for women and address inequalities in pay and working conditions along your supply chain. This action plan should increase trainings and recruitment of women to leadership positions all along your supply chain.

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Women and girls around the world are demanding and creating systemic change and a sustainable future for all. We need collective power to attain a just future – we need you.