Twinings & Co
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.

Overall

Owned UK
Rating F
About the Ratings

Company Ownership

AB Food & Beverages Australia Pty Ltd
AUS
Associated British Foods PLC
owns 100% of AB Food & Beverages Australia Pty Ltd
UK
Food manufacturer
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.
Wittington Investments Ltd
owns 55% of Associated British Foods PLC
UK
Holding company
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
UK
Grant-giving charity
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.

Company Assessment

AB Food & Beverages Australia Pty Ltd
Praise
This company received a packaging performance level of 4 (Leading) in its 2024 APCO Annual Report. Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is a not-for-profit organisation leading the development of a circular economy for packaging in Australia. Each year, APCO Members are required to submit an APCO Annual Report and Action Plan, which includes an overall performance level from 1 (Getting Started) to 5 (Beyond Best Practice).
Source: APCO (2024)
Information
Winner of the Environment Victoria's Golden KEEP Award, and the Going Forwards award, for Jarrah instant coffee. Jarrah improved their packaging by changing it to a fully recyclable single plastic jar. Glass jars have a far higher environmental impact.
Company retails, manufactures or distributes products that are certified organic under the Australian Certified Organic label.
Source: ACO (2022)
Some of Twinings Asha range of teas are certified Fairtrade, however this only represents a fraction of Twinings full range.
Associated British Foods PLC
Praise
In 2023, 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 B.
Source: CDP (2023)
Criticism
In 2023, 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 D.
Source: CDP (2023)
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 22.5%.
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.
The PalmOil Scan app, produced by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), rates companies on their commitment to sourcing sustainable palm oil. Companies are scored on their use of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO), commitment to sourcing CSPO, on-the-ground conservation action, and membership to the RSPO. Companies can earn a rating of Excellent, Good, Poor or No Commitment. This company is rated "Poor" (retrieved 18 Nov 2023).
Source: WAZA (2023)
In 2023 KnowTheChain benchmarked 60 food and beverage companies on their efforts to identify and tackle forced labour risks in their supply chains. This company received a score of 22/100. The average score was a disappointing 16/100 and the highest score was 56/100.
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%.
The 2024 Social Benchmark assesses the world's 2,000 most influential companies on their responsibility in meeting society's fundamental expectations towards three measurement areas: respecting human rights, providing decent work, and acting ethically. This company was assessed in 2023 and received a score of 5.5/20. The average score was an alarmingly low 4.6/20 and the highest score was 15.5/20.
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.
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.
The 2023 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 #91/350, with a total score of 24.9/100.
Information
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.
A 2015 investigation by the BBC has found workers on Indian tea plantations who pick tea for this company are paid less than £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)
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).
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.
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
The 2024 WWF Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard evaluates the progress and performance of 285 major retailers and manufacturer companies, focusing on 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 'middle of the pack' with a score of 11.36 out of a possible total of 24.
In 2023, 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 C.
Source: CDP (2023)
The 2023 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assessed 55 companies in the apparel sector on their human rights performance. This company received a score of 21.4%. The overall average score was a disappointing 18.2% and the highest score was 53.4%.
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.
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%.
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.
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)
Wittington Investments Ltd
Criticism
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)
Information
UK-based protest group, UK Uncut, targeted Wittington Investments during protests in March 2011 for their tax avoidance policies.
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.
Garfield Weston Foundation
Information
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.
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.

Company Details

Type:
Wholly-owned subsidiary

Contact Details

Address:
35-37 South Corporate Ave, Rowville, VIC, 3178, Australia
Phone:
03 9764 5111
Freecall:
1800 092 889
Website:
www.twiningsandco.com.au

Products / Brands

Twinings & Co
Jarrah Coffee
Jarrah Milk Flavouring
Ovaltine Milk Flavouring
Ovaltines Chocolate
Twinings Tea