Jump to Sara Lee : Alerts;
• The Sara Lee Corporation offers a diverse product line that includes food products, cosmetics, household cleaners, and clothing.
• Sara Lee's biggest scandal involved the sale of listeria-tainted hot dog meat that killed 15 people and sickened more than 100 in 2001.
• Sara Lee was implicated in the massive US Foodservice accounting scandal, which involved inflated earnings and cover-ups.
• Sara Lee only sells a small amount of Fair Trade coffee, and earned the lowest rating of all US coffee roasters for the company's treatment of farmers.
• Encourage Sara Lee to support Fair Trade and visit Go Green for a list of local and green business.
-- Profile Updated 07/01/2010
About Sara Lee
Illinois-based Sara Lee Corporation offers a diverse product line that includes food products, cosmetics, household cleaners, and clothing. The company has 109,000 employees and recorded sales of $15.944 billion in 2006.
Avroy Shlain Cosmetics (Pty.) Ltd. - Krugersdorp, South Africa
- Balirny Douwe Egberts A.S. - Prague, Czech Republic
- Ball Park Brands (Division) - Cincinnati, OH
Ball Park Brands (Division) - Cincinnati, OH
- Best Kosher Foods Corp. - Chicago, IL
- Bimbo S.A. - Barcelona, Spain
- Bryan Foods - West Point, MS
- Canadelle - Saint Leonard, Canada
- Champion Athleticwear Inc. - Winston Salem, NC
- Coffenco International GmbH - Mainz, Germany
- Decotrade AG - Zug, Switzerland
- Dim S.A. - Levallois-Perret, France
- Douwe Egberts N.V. - Grimbergen, Belgium
- Douwe Egberts Nederland B.V. - Utrecht, Netherlands
- Earthgrains Baking Co. Inc. - Columbus, MS
- EuroDough, S.A.S. - Lievin, France
- Fairwind GmbH - Dusseldorf, Germany
- Fujian Sara Lee Consumer Products Co. Ltd. - Shanghai, China
- Fuller Cosmetics S.A. de C.V. - Mexico, Mexico
- Godrej Sara Lee Ltd. - Mumbai, India
- Grupo Sans - Barcelona, Spain
- Hanes Caribe Inc. - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
- Hanes Hosiery, Inc. - Winston Salem, NC
- Host Apparel, Inc. - New York, NY
- Host for Her - New York, NY
- House of Fuller, S.A. de C.V. - Mexico, Mexico
- Imperial Meat Products N.V. - Gent, Belgium
- Industrias de Carnes Nobre S.A. - Aveiro, Portugal
- Inter Food Service Ltd. - Slough, United Kingdom
- J&J Fashions International Ltd. - Slough, United Kingdom
- Kiwi Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd. - Johor, Malaysia
- L'eggs Products, Inc. - Winston Salem, NC
- Lovable Design GmbH - Munich, Germany
- Merrild Kaffe A.S. - Kolding, Denmark
- Merrild Kaffe A/S - Kolding, Denmark
- Metrolab Industries Inc. - Manila, Philippines
- Metz Baking Company - Chicago, IL
- Naturcare Japan Ltd. - Tokyo, Japan
- Nutri-Metics International Inc. - Calgary, Canada
- Nutri-Metics Worldwide (M) Sdn. Bhd. - Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
- Outer Banks Sportswear (Division) - Winston Salem, NC
- Pierre-Yves Fashion BVBA - Saint-Niklaas, Belgium
- Playtex Apparel, Inc. - Winston Salem, NC
- Playtex France S.A. - Paris, France
- Playtex Vega Baja Corp. - Vega Baja, PR
- Santora Kaffee GmbH - Vienna, Austria
- Sara Lee (Ireland) Ltd. - Killarney, Ireland
- Sara Lee (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. - Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
- Sara Lee Apparel, Inc. - New York, NY
- Sara Lee Austria GmbH - Linz, Austria
- Sara Lee Bakery (Australia) Pty. Ltd. - Gosford, Australia
- Sara Lee Bakery Group - Clayton, MO
- Sara Lee Bakery Group - Grand Rapids, MI
- Sara Lee Bakery Group - Knoxville, TN
- Sara Lee Bakery Group - La Crosse, WI
- Sara Lee Bakery Group - Madison, WI
- Sara Lee Bakery Group - Marquette, MI
- Sara Lee Bakery Group - Milwaukee, WI
- Sara Lee Bakery Group - Saint Louis, MO
- Sara Lee Bakery Worldwide - Saint Louis, MO
- Sara Lee Branded Apparel - Rheine, Germany
- Sara Lee Brasil Ltda. - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Sara Lee Coffee & Tea - Hialeah, FL
- Sara Lee Coffee & Tea - Houston, TX
- Sara Lee Coffee & Tea - Moonachie, NJ
- Sara Lee Coffee & Tea - Oklahoma City, OK
- Sara Lee Coffee & Tea Consumer Brands - Harrison, NY
- Sara Lee Coffee & Tea Foodservice - Rolling Meadows, IL
- Sara Lee Coffee & Tea Hellas SA - Aegaleo, Greece
- Sara Lee Corp. - San Lorenzo, CA
- Sara Lee Courtaulds - Sutton-in-Ashfield, United Kingdom
- Sara Lee D-E - Utrecht, Netherlands
- Sara Lee Deutschland GmbH - Mainz, Germany
- Sara Lee Direct - Rural Hall, NC
- Sara Lee Food Holdings Pty. Ltd. - Gosford, Australia
- Sara Lee Foods - Cincinnati, OH
- Sara Lee Foods - New London, WI
- Sara Lee Foods - Saint Joseph, MO
- Sara Lee Foods US Corndog Division - Haltom City, TX
- Sara Lee Fresh - Vernon, CA
- Sara Lee Hosiery - Winston Salem, NC
- Sara Lee Household & Body Care - Exton, PA
- Sara Lee Household & Body Care - Melbourne, Australia
- Sara Lee Household & Body Care Deutschland GmbH - Cologne, Germany
- Sara Lee Household & Body Care Osterreich GmbH - Vienna, Austria
- Sara Lee Household & Body Care Schweiz AG - Bern, Switzerland
- Sara Lee Household & Body Care UK Limited - Slough, United Kingdom
- Sara Lee Hungary Kave es Tea Kft - Budapest, Hungary
- Sara Lee Intimate & Hosiery - Winston Salem, NC
- Sara Lee Intimates - Winston Salem, NC
- Sara Lee Japan, Ltd. - Tokyo, Japan
- Sara Lee Knit Products Mexico S.A. de C.V. - Mexico, Mexico
- Sara Lee Knit Products-Mexico - Mexico, Mexico
- Sara Lee Personal Products Pty. Ltd. - Sydney, Australia
- Sara Lee Philippines Inc. - Muntinlupa, Philippines
- Sara Lee Sock Company - Winston Salem, NC
- Sara Lee Southern Europe S.A. - Barcelona, Spain
- Sara Lee Tasty Bread - Roseville, MN
- Sara Lee UK Holdings PLC - Slough, United Kingdom
- Sara Lee Underwear - Winston Salem, NC
- Sara Lee Underwear, Inc. - Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Sara Lee/DE Espana SA - Getafe, Spain
- Sara Lee/DE International B.V. - Utrecht, Netherlands
- Sweet Sue Kitchens - Athens, AL
- Tradi Charcuterie S.A. - Douai, France
- Tradi France S.A. - Peyrolles-en-Provence, France
- Trail's Best Snacks - Chandler, MN
- Vatter GmbH - Rheine, Germany
Contact Sara Lee
Downers Grove, IL 60515 USA
Compare Sara Lee to other companies in these industries
According to workplace medical experts, employees at Sara Lee garment supplier Monclova International in Mexico, are “incapable of doing their work due to the irreversible harm caused by workplace injuries.” In an August 11, 2006 press conference, three women spoke out against worker violations in the textile factory. Workers cited 10 hour workdays, significant decreases in salaries though production levels increased, and the lack of medical assistance as examples of labor violations. Lauro Presqueira, General Manager of Monclova International, stated, “We are confident that all reasonable measures have been identified and implemented” to minimize workplace injuries.
-- Business-HumanRights.org, 08/04/2006
Source URL: none available
In June 2004, Sara Lee closed manufacturing facilities in Cuidad Frontera and Allende leaving approximately 2,290 workers unemployed. According to Sara Lee the factories were to be turned into distributions centers employing only 50 people. The workers, however, claim that Sara Lee decided to close the factories when workers openly began to organize and engage in union activity.
-- International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, 12/01/2004
Source URL: www.icftu.org/www/PDF/EPZreportE.pdf
Workers at the PT Goldindo Menawan garment factory in Indonesia do have a union and a collective labor agreement. However, union members do not possess a copy of the document, nor are they aware of the start or end dates of the agreement. PT Goldindo Menawan produces clothing bearing the Sara Lee, Medifom and Berlee brands.
-- Clean Clothes Campaign, 07/13/2004
Sara Lee scored the lowest--27--on Oxfam's grading of the 4 major coffee roasters in 2003. According to Oxfam, "Sara Lee...has failed abysmally in almost every aspect of dealing with the coffee crisis. It buys some Fair Trade Certified coffee but has no plan to expand."
Companies were graded on the price they paid to farmers (70 percent), support for policy alternatives (10 percent), financial contributions (10 percent) and leadership in industry-wide initiatiives (10 percent). Other companies graded are Kraft, Procter & Gamble and Nestle.
-- Oxfam, 09/01/2003
The Climate Counts Company Scorecard, which provides consumers with an objective look at companies' commitments to reversing climate change, grades Sara Lee as the worst food sector company. Sara Lee scored a 2 on a scale of 100.
-- Climate Counts, 06/01/2007
Earthgrains Baking Companies, Inc., a subsidiary of Sara Lee, reached a $5.25 million settlement with the Department of Justice and the EPA for committing the "largest ever corporate-wide violations of stratospheric ozone protection regulations." Of the 67 facilities run by Earthgrains, 57 leaked refrigerants at a rate 35% higher than allowed by law. In addition, the company made no attempt to correct leakage problems even after their discovery. Refrigerants such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are known to be a major cause of ozone layer depletion.
-- U.S. Department of Justice, 07/31/2003
Source URL: www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2003/July/03_enrd_432.htm
Ethics and Governance
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which controls 8,424 Sara Lee shares wants the corporation to allow shareholders input on issues of executive pay. Although stocks fell, CEO Brenda Barnes’s salary rose from $883,333 in 2004 to $1 million in 2005. Her bonuses rose from $425,392 in 2004 to $1.14 million in 2005. The AFSCME proposal calls for shareholders to vote and approve the “Compensation Discussion and Analysis” section of the proxy each year. Sara Lee’s Board of Directors claims shareholders already have means of communicating concerns about compensation and any other issue: they simply need to write a letter to the board.
-- Reuters, 09/22/2006
According to the Social Investment Research Analyst Network (SIRAN), ten years after the Federal Glass Ceiling Commission recommended disclosure of diversity data as a way to remove barriers and promote women and minority advancement, most US companies still fail to fully disclose EEO data to the public. Sara Lee is listed as one of the companies that does not provide full public disclosure. The company did not respond to a survey sent by SIRAN.
-- Social Investment Research Analyst Network (SIRAN), 12/07/2005
Source URL: www.siran.org
Sara Lee was one of the several major food companies implicated as conspiring to cover up a massive accounting scandal at U.S. Foodservice (owned by Royal Ahold). Between 2000 and 2003 U.S. Foodservice inflated earnings by $800 million, aided by falsified rebate contracts from clients such as Sara Lee and ConAgra. Sara Lee maintains that they are innocent of misconduct, however the company terminated three sales executives linked to the scandal.
-- Washington Post, 07/28/2004
In May 2002, Sara Lee agreed to pay $3.5 million to 139 black employees who complained of racial harassment and retaliation at Sara Lee subsidiary Hygrade Food Products Corp., a hot-dog plant that closed in 2001. The settlement came after 23 separate racial discrimination suits were filed in June 2001 by African-American employees against the company. The suits, filed in U.S. District Court, alleged that the African-American employees of the Philadelphia Ball Park brand hot dog factory were harassed, subjected to racial epithets, and denied promotions. The suit claimed that white employees received word-of-mouth notice about promotions and transfers. Employees have filed several previous discrimination and sexual-harassment suits against the plant in recent years. "Sara Lee Foods is committed to a workplace free from any form of harassment or discrimination," chief executive William A. Geoppinger said in a statement. The company also has a history of involvement in the Urban League, a non-profit organization that focuses on African American civil rights and economic self-reliance.
-- Associated Press, 05/30/2002
Multinational Monitor named Sara Lee one of the "10 Worst Corporations of 2001" because of the company's activities around the incidence of deadly Listeria bacteria at it Bil Mar subsidiary. The bacteria killed 21 consumers of the company's Ball Park hotdogs. According to the magazine there is evidence that Sara Lee tested for and knew it had a problem with bacteria in the Bil Mar before it issued a recall of the hotdogs. However, an attorney for Sara Lee denied the allegations saying the company regularly tested for low temperature pathogens but not necessarily for Listeria.
Sara Lee pled guilty to two misdemeanors and agreed to pay a $200,000 fine.
-- Multinational Monitor, 12/01/2001