Climate change will hit price of cereal and household basics next, report claims

Oxfam report found Kellogg and Nestlé are among the world’s ‘big ten’ companies who emit more greenhouses gases than Nordic countries combined

A A A

The impact of climate change could increase the price of breakfast cereal and other household foods, a report by Oxfam has claimed, which found Kellogg and Nestlé are among the world’s ‘Big 10’ food and drink companies who collectively emit more greenhouses gases than Nordic countries combined.

In their report, Standing on the Sidelines, Oxfam called on the major food and drink companies to do more to tackle climate change after it found the so-called Big 10 were responsible for nearly 264 million tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2012 – more than Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway combined.

The international aid agency said the Big 10 included Associated British Foods (ABF), Coca-Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever, and called on them to start working towards reducing emissions that occur "outside their own four walls".

Half of the greenhouse gas emissions come from the production of agricultural commodities in the companies' supply chains. These emissions are not covered by targets each company sets to reduce their own emissions, the report claims, which was produced for Oxfam's Behind the Brands campaign.

It also singled out Kellogg and General Mills as among the "worst performers" for their climate change policies and called on them to reverse their position as "climate laggards". Only Nestlé, Unilever and to some extent Mars and Coca-Cola were vocal in encouraging policy makers and businesses to tackle climate change, it added.

“The food industry has a moral imperative and a business responsibility to dramatically step up its efforts to tackle climate change,” Oxfam's executive director Winnie Byanyima said. “The ‘Big 10' companies are failing to use their power responsibly and we will all suffer the consequences."

These “consequences” include rising food prices for consumers. Oxfam estimates climate change will hike up the retail price of General Mills' Kix cereal by up to 24 percent and Kellogg's Corn Flakes by as much as 44 per cent over the next 15 years.

It warned the companies could face financial ruin if they do not do more to tackle the issues with climate change because of the effects extreme weather conditions could have on production.

"They have the economic power to drive the required transformation of the food system and to influence the direction of the wider global economy," the report said. "Their vested interests coincide with the world's need for a cleaner and more equitable global food system and a sustainable energy system.

"But they are not properly acting upon this coincidence."

In a statement, Kellogg said: “Kellogg is committed to doing what’s right for the environment and society. As part of this commitment, we are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – along with energy use and water use – by 15–20 per cent at our manufacturing facilities by 2015.

"Oxfam has recognised our commitment to working with global palm oil suppliers to source fully traceable palm oil, produced in a manner that’s environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable."

General Mills said: "Climate Change is a serious issue, and as a food company we are very aware of the impact that climate change could have on agriculture and the world’s food supply.

"General Mills has been actively engaged in positively influencing climate policy and has been taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its operations for many years."

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Administrator

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are a world leadin...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral