Slavery Makes a Monster
We’ve all seen it. The neon green logo plastered on athlete uniforms, NASCAR race cars, military commissaries, and across college campuses. Monster Beverage has made a killing off of its “#UnleashTheBeast,” carefree, life-on-the-edge brand, and it’s working: it is valued at $35 billion.
The lax attitude that has brought Monster so much success is also its biggest problem: it doesn’t know, and seemingly doesn’t care, if their products are made with forced labor.
This week, As You Sow filed a resolution asking Monster Beverage to report on slavery and human trafficking in its supply chain. We were first alerted to Monster Beverage’s lack of taking and disclosing action on the issue of slavery and human trafficking in its supply chain by the October 2016, KnowTheChain Food & Beverage Benchmark Findings Report that scored Monster at zero, stating, “Monster Beverage Corporation places last on the benchmark, underperforming across all thematic areas relative to its peers.” This reflects poor accountability and transparency in managing forced labor and human trafficking risks in its supply chain. In contrast, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and PepsiCo, scored 58, 57, and 45 respectively.
That careless, rebel mindset is fine for marketing, but is dangerous for corporate policy and practices.
In the year and a half since the publication of this report, Monster has neglected to implement any accountability system or to thoroughly report on the efforts it is taking to mitigate modern slavery.
Monster stated in its opposition statement that a slavery and human trafficking report is “expensive and time consuming.” As a 35 billion dollar company, the idea that such a report just isn’t worth speaks volumes about company culture. Citing “minimal risk” isn’t enough. “Minimal risk” is the sort of argument you can make for going on a scary amusement park ride. Not for slavery.
Monster Beverage has an obligation to its consumers, its shareholders, and the employees of its supply chain to be transparent. Transparency is the first step in making progress toward ending modern slavery.
In the “About Us” section of the Monster Energy website, it claims that it is “all about the things you care about.” So we’re ready for Monster to be all about responsible sourcing, human rights, and transparency.
Concerned your mutual funds may be invested in Monster Beverage? Click here to learn more and to ask your mutual fund company to vote “FOR” our resolution, or take action right here!