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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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How ethical and sustainable is Desperados? 

Desperados is included in The Good Shopping Guide’s Beer, Lager & Cider Ethical Ratings Table. We believe that Desperados will eventually behave in a more ethically sound manner, even though it hasn’t yet demonstrated moral behaviour that meets our expectations. By submitting an application for Ethical Accreditation, which includes a more detailed assessment and recommendations for ethical development, Desperados may increase customer and investor confidence.

More information on the issues that may be found in The Good Shopping Guide to Ethical Lager, Cider and Beer brands.  Then, in our Beer, Lager and Cider Ethical Ratings Table compare it to other brands.

What do Desperados do?

Desperados began in 1995 as an experiment and the first tequila-flavoured beer was made. The brand has a range of products guaraná, cachaça in Desperados Red and flavours of grapes, spices and sangria in Desperados Sangré. Heineken has owned Desperados since 2014; you can read more on its history here.

For which criteria does Desperados perform poorly? 

Low scores for Organic, Genetic Modification and Public Record Criticisms earned Desperados a poor rating. The beer company doesn’t offer any options for organic cider and is linked to the use of genetically modified ingredients through its parent company.

Past Criticisms of Desperados’ ethical record

Heineken, Desperados’ parent business, is the source of Desperados’ ethical criticisms. Heineken came under fire for its contractor, Sider, who was alleged to have slave-like working conditions and to have violated labour laws. To learn more, click here.

Heineken was also rated the third worst plastic polluter in Europe by Break Free From Plastic.

In what areas does Desperados score well for its ethics?

For its Environmental Report, Nuclear Power, Animal Welfare, Political Donations and Armaments, Desperados obtains good marks. Heineken has a sustainability strategy that establishes a number of long-term environmental targets, therefore Desperados receives a top grade.

How can Desperados improve its Ethical Rating?

Desperados could apply for Ethical Accreditation for more detailed suggestions on how to improve its score and sustainability policies.

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 and research brands for their sustainability and ethics.

Desperados may improve its rating and meet our ethical standards by launching a range of vegan beers. The company ought to think about how to enhance public awareness and publish a genetic modification policy.

Why not check out The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Accreditation if you work for or with a beer, lager or cider brand that places ethics and sustainability 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


  • 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