We always rate companies based on their ownership so you can be sure you’re not buying vegan products from a company involved in factory farming or your green energy from a company involved in fossil fuels.
1. Green & Black's (Mondelez)
Green & Black's was known as an ethical pioneer, becoming the first company with a Fair Trade certified chocolate bar in 1994. However, in 2005 it shocked supporters when it was bought out by Cadbury, which later became part of Mondelez.
Mondelez receives Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for its policy on sourcing cocoa, an ingredient often linked to child labour and other workers rights issues, and in 2019 it was found to be illegally marketing its products to children. The company also owns the Cadbury’s, Kenco and Terry’s brands.
In 2016, Mondelez was criticised for buying palm oil - a common ingredient in chocolate bars - from the secretive palm oil trading company Olam, which has been linked to deforestation in Southeast Asia and Africa. In 2018 and 2020 the company was again criticised over the issue, with civil society organisations saying that it still had not addressed the problem of ‘conflict palm oil’ in its supply chains.