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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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Cow & Gate

How ethical and sustainable is Cow & Gate? 

Cow & Gate is included in The Good Shopping Guide’s Baby Food Ethical Ratings Table and receives a low score within the research. Cow & Gate has yet to meet our ethical standards, but we hope that in the future, the brand will make the necessary changes to become a more ethical business.

More information on the issues this industry faces may be found in The Good Shopping Guide to Ethical Baby Food.

What does Cow & Gate do?

Cow & Gate began in 1771 producing milk. In 1903, the brand began to manufacture powdered milk for babies. Now, the brand has a range of products to suit each stage of a baby’s growth. Cow & Gate also sells products such as porridge, muesli and rice specifically formulated for babies. In 2018 Cow & Gate became a part of the Danone family. You can read more on Cow & Gate’s history here.

For which criteria does Cow & Gate perform poorly? 

Cow & Gate receives a bottom rating for Public Record Criticisms, due to its involvement in several unethical practices.

For instance, Cow & Gate faced criticism due to its ownership by Danone. Talking Trash issues a study that criticised Danone for deceiving customers about its waste reduction commitment. More on this criticism of Danone can be found here.

Danone has also been criticised for ignoring concerns from WHO, UNICEF and others about the health implications of its globally traded sweetened and ultra-processed foods for older babies, as well as the exploitation of mothers in South-East Asia in order to create online marketing material. More on Danone’s unethical marketing criticisms can be found here.

In what areas does Cow & Gate score well for its ethics?

Cow & Gate receives a top rating for the Environmental Report criterion, as Danone has acceptable sustainability information, including a report which details its environmental commitments.

How can Cow & Gate improve its Ethical Rating?

The Ethical Rating of a brand is divided into three categories by The Good Shopping Guide: the Environment, People and Animals. Find out more about how we rate.

As Cow & Gate’s low rating is primarily a result of the activities of its parent company, Danone, we encourage Danone to improve its ethical record. This includes improve its packaging policies to reduce plastic waste, as well as avoiding political donations and animal abuse.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan Verified



  • Armaments


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


  • Public Record Criticisms+


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating