Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever topped a new list ranking how well food and drink companies tackle the risk of forced labor in their supply chains, ahead of Kellogg Company and Coca-Cola.
Most of the 38 companies assessed in a study by KnowTheChain, an online resource for business, had improved their practices since 2016.
But the average score was just 30 out of 100, the report said, suggesting all companies need to step up action to ensure ethical production.
“Forced labor remains a major problem in the production of popular food and beverage products,” Kilian Moote, project director for KnowTheChain said in a statement.
“Progress for workers is not moving fast enough. Companies across the board must do better to make demonstrable improvements for workers.”
About 25 million people globally were estimated to be trapped in forced labor in 2016, according to the International Labor Organization and rights group Walk Free Foundation.
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.