Unequivocal commitments to lobbying on nutrition issues only in support of public health
Danone, Nestlé and PepsiCo are the only companies to commit to lobbying in support of public health as it relates to nutrition issues. However, they are encouraged to strengthen their commitments by stating clearly that they will not engage in any other nutrition-related lobbying, or to state clearly that they will not lobby against initiatives to improve public health. All other companies should express such commitments as well.
Providing a comprehensive overview of companies’ lobbying and other direct or indirect ways to influence the public agenda
Both Mars and PepsiCo provide a comprehensive overview of their lobbying policies, activities and memberships in and support of other organizations involved on their behalf in lobbying and influencing. Other companies should follow these examples, especially regarding actual lobbying activities. In the U.S. and the EU, public databases have been set up to disclose industry lobbying expenditure and activities. Companies should improve their transparency by disclosing such information on their own websites, (for example, providing a dashboard that is updated regularly).
Low scoring companies should increase their focus on stakeholder engagement
Six companies – Ferrero, Kraft Heinz, Lactalis, Meiji, Suntory and Tingyi – do not report a commitment or other information regarding stakeholder engagement to inform their nutrition policies and practices. Four other companies – Arla, BRF, ConAgra and Ajinomoto – report very limited information. These companies are urged to improve their commitments and performance given how serious global nutrition challenges are and how critical it is that all companies play their part in addressing them.
A structured approach to stakeholder engagement, linked to the corporate strategy
Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever are exemplars of a structured approach to stakeholder engagement that is embedded in their central strategies, ‘Creating Shared Value’, ‘Performance with Purpose’ and the ‘Unilever Sustainable Living Plan’, respectively. Other companies are encouraged to mirror these approaches to ensure that external stakeholder input is used to inform corporate strategy, including a focus on nutrition and health.
The Access to Nutrition Index rates food and beverage manufacturers´ nutrition-related policies, practices and disclosures worldwide on a recurring basis.
Access to Nutrition Foundation
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