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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. Cow & Gate has yet to meet our ethical standards, but we believe that in the future, the brand will make the necessary changes to function as a more ethical organisation. Cow & Gate might increase consumer trust and find out how to become one of the top-rated Ethical Baby Food brands by applying for Ethical Accreditation, which would include a more complete examination and suggestions for ethical development.

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

Then, in our Baby Food Ethical Ratings Table compare it to other brands.

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 received a low rating for GMO usage products and Animal Welfare issues. Cow & Gate’s parent brand, Danone, states that animal testing is conducted to ensure the safety of new products and that animal testing is still essential on occasion. PETA criticises the brand for conducting ‘painful mutilations’ on its calves. Danone also contributed around £47k to political election cycles, earning it a bottom rating.

Past Criticisms of Cow & Gate’s ethical record

Cow & Gate faced criticism due to its relation to 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 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 high score in our Fossil Fuel, Organic products and Environmental Reporting categories. Danone has a 2030 Goals document that offers a range of targets as well as evidence of what steps the brand has taken to work towards this.

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.

Cow & Gate might apply for Ethical Accreditation for more detailed guidance on how to improve.

Cow & Gate may reach our Ethical Benchmark and become one of the top Ethical Baby Food brands by ensuring that Danone listens to professional concerns with its products, and ceases all Political Donations and Animal Testing.

Why not check out The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Accreditation if you work for or with a Baby Food company that places ethics high on its priority list?

Contact us to learn more, or complete our short form for an initial ethical evaluation.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan



  • Armaments


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


  • Public Record Criticisms+


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