The Associated British Foods group (ABF), owner of Silver Spoon sugar, is avoiding tax in Zambia, one of the world’s poorest countries.
Our new report, Sweet Nothings, shows that since 2007 Zambia Sugar has:
- generated profits of $123 million, but admits paying "virtually no corporate tax" in Zambia,
- taken over US$83.7 million (US$13 million a year) - a third of pre-tax profits - out of Zambia into and via tax havens including Ireland, Mauritius and the Netherlands,
- deprived Zambian public services of an estimated US$27 million as a result of the company's tax avoidance schemes and special tax breaks.
In a country already lacking many basic public services, the missing tax from ABF could put an extra 48,000 Zambian children in school every year.
Mazabuka’s local economy may be based on calorie rich sugar, but it has a chronic problem with undernourished children. Zambia as a whole has one of the highest rates of child malnutrition in southern and eastern Africa.
, or 'Mrs Sholoka' as she is known to everyone, is a health worker at the public clinic in one of Zambia Sugar’s factories in Mazabuka. She works to help mothers improve the nutrition that their babies and children receive. "We receive up to 15 [undernourished] children per week... Just about two children die every month." Dailess Mwiinga
If that tax was being paid, maybe that money would be used... to access the hard to reach places where we are not able to reach frequently.
We're taking action now. People in the UK are pooling their voices together to get the attention of Associated British Foods' CEO and demanding answers. Citizens in Zambia are outlining how tax money could improve their local school or hospital and calling on Zambia Sugar to pay their fair share of taxes. And activists in Sweden are also joining the call to the ABF group's CEO!
Not in Zambia, Sweden or the UK?
This is just the start of our campaigning and we have loads more coming up, where you'll be able to take direct action.
The best way to stay updated about the work we do and how you can get involved is to join the conversation on social media. If you connect with us on any of these networks, we'll make sure you're in the loop when the time comes to take action: