Monster Beverage Shareholders Vote to Fix Slavery Problem
20% of Company Shareholders Vote in Favor of As You Sow Resolution
CONTACT: Cyrus Nemati, (510) 735-8157, [email protected]
CORONA, CA – June 7, 2018 – Monster Beverage shareholders voted in strong numbers on an As You Sow resolution asking the company to address the lack of transparency regarding slavery and human trafficking in its supply chain. A preliminary count of 20% of shareholders voted for the proposal asking the company for transparency and disclosure on this critical human rights issue.
Monster is best known for its energy drinks which use cane sugar as one of their prime ingredients. Cane sugar production is known for the use of child or forced labor in Bolivia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Pakistan, and other countries according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Monster earned a 0 (zero) – dead last among all companies - in the October 2016 KnowTheChain report scoring supply chain accountability on slavery and human trafficking. Other peer companies, including Coca-Cola (a major Monster shareholder), scored much higher despite its use of cane sugar earning a score of 58, indicating a high degree of transparency. Nestle and PepsiCo scored a 57 and a 45, respectively.
“Today’s vote sends a strong message to Monster’s management and board,” said Andrew Behar, CEO of As You Sow, an Oakland-based non-profit dedicated to corporate accountability. “Slavery and human trafficking are hidden in the supply chains of many products and this is simply not acceptable. It’s time for all companies to shine a bright light into how their products are made and for customers and shareholders to demand that these egregious practices are addressed and stopped.”
Behar presented the resolution at today’s annual meeting at the company’s headquarters in Corona, California, sharing over 21,000 signatures from a Freedom United petition to Rodney Sacks, CEO and Chairman of Monster Beverage, asking him to support the As You Sow proposal.
Monster Beverage grew from a $50 million company in 2003 to $30 billion market cap today, yet management states that reporting on slavery in its supply chain is too expensive and unnecessary. Today Monster shareholders demonstrated that they don’t agree, and that the company is introducing material risk through its inaction.
As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies.