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Keep up to date with our latest news, webinars, and reports.

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Views of Europe Slide Sharply in Global Poll, While Views of China Improve

[jumplinks] Download the Full Report (PDF) 10 May 2012 – Positive views of the European Union and European nations have declined sharply over the last year—so much so that Germany has been overtaken by Japan as the world’s most positively viewed major nation, a new 22-country global poll for BBC World Service suggests. The poll also finds that views of China have improved significantly over the last year, in both the developing and industrialised world, and that the country has now … “Views of Europe Slide Sharply in Global Poll, While Views of China Improve”

Families Cutting Back on Food in Response to Rising Prices

The rise in global food prices over the last year is having a major effect on consumption habits in the global South, according to GlobeScan research on behalf of Save the Children, with many reporting that they have cut back on the amount of food they buy for their family.

The price of staple foods such as beans, wheat and other cereals increased substantially during 2011, following severe weather in some of the world’s biggest food exporting countries, which damaged supplies. GlobeScan’s findings reveal that majorities in Peru (56%) and Nigeria (54%) and substantial proportions in Bangladesh (49%), Pakistan (40%) and India (29%) say that they have reduced the amount of food they buy for their family as a result of rising prices.

The last time global food prices peaked, in 2008, food riots resulted in the Indian subcontinent, Africa and Latin America, and GlobeScan tracking found that the price of food and energy was a greater concern than the ongoing economic crisis.


Finding from GlobeScan research conducted on behalf of Save the Children, 2012 

For more information on this finding, please contact Sam Mountford (Read Bio)

The global public worries about soaring price of food

Save the Children reported this week that the recent rise in global food prices was taking its toll on families across the developing world, and that half a billion children risk being born physically and mentally stunted over the next fifteen years if no concerted action is taken. GlobeScan’s recent polling for Save the Children, as well as its regular global attitudes tracking, confirm the scale of the problem.

GlobeScan’s own annual tracking research reveals high levels of concerns about the rising cost of food and energy among citizens across the world, with proportions saying this issue is “very serious” particularly high in the Philippines and the Latin American countries surveyed. The rising cost of food and energy is also of relatively high concern in China and Russia; concern has grown significantly in China over the past two years as food prices have continued to rise rapidly in that market.

In many developing countries, the effects of rising food and energy prices are particularly felt among those who have not benefitted from economic growth that has frequently been concentrated to specific sections of society, often leaving behind low-income and low-educated groups. In a recent survey fielded by GlobeScan on behalf of Save the Children in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, and Bangladesh—countries where half the world’s malnourished children live—large majorities in all countries polled say that the rising price of food has become their most pressing concern this year. Concern is most acute in Nigeria and Bangladesh, where people overwhelmingly feel that food price rises are the most pressing issue they face.

A third of parents surveyed revealed that their children complained they didn’t have enough to eat. Around one in six parents (16%) – and nearly one in three in Nigeria (30%) – say they have allowed their children to skip school to help pay for their family’s food. The charity warns that if no concerted action is taken, half a billion children will be physically and mentally stunted over the next 15 years.


Finding from the GlobeScan Radar, Wave 2, 2011

For more information on this finding, please contact Sam Mountford (Read Bio)

A Life Free from Hunger: Tackling Child Malnutrition

Download the Full Report: “A Life Free from Hunger” (PDF) Download the Topline Results of the Global Nutritian Poll (PDF) 15 February 2012 – New global research by Save the Children has revealed that, after a year of soaring food prices, nearly half of surveyed families say they have been forced to cut back on food. Nearly a third of parents surveyed said their children complained that they didn’t have enough food to eat. The poll, conducted in India, Nigeria, … “A Life Free from Hunger: Tackling Child Malnutrition”

Public respect falls for nine of twelve industrial sectors

At the end of 2011, the external environment for business has rarely been more challenging. With the Eurozone crisis unresolved, the economic headwinds that have been afflicting most of the world’s industrialised economies continue to blow – and recent data on Brazil’s economy in the last quarter suggest they may be spreading to the BRIC economies that until now have been enjoying buoyant economic growth. At the same time, pressure to regulate to ensure environmental and social responsibility is on the rise.

GlobeScan’s tracking of public respect for business across a number of sectors illustrates that at a time when consumers have little to spend and jobs are scarce, businesses are finding it hard to retain public esteem. In nine of the twelve sectors that GlobeScan tracks, respect has fallen across twelve developed and developing economies, with falls particularly sharp for food (with prices on the rise), banking (suffering from diminished consumer trust since the bailouts in 2008) and oil (thanks to a combination of high prices and environmental impact worries).

To regain consumer respect, these sectors will need to show in 2012 that they are able to deliver affordable products and services in tough economic times, while keeping one step ahead of consumer expectations on social and environmental responsibility.


Finding from the GlobeScan Radar, Wave 2, 2011 

For more information on this finding, please contact Sam Mountford (Read Bio)

GlobeScan and the Haas Center for Responsible Business release: The Future of Finance

“Inclusive Innovation” Offers Opportunity for the Financial Sector to Grow and Re-engage with Society: New Report Download the Future of Finance Report (PDF) 16 December 2011 – Global banking and financial sector experts see opportunities for the financial sector to grow and re-engage with society through “inclusive innovations,” a new report launched today, The Future of Finance, has found. Economic and regulatory uncertainty in many countries, and a degree of popular resentment exemplified by protests and a decline in reputation, presents … “GlobeScan and the Haas Center for Responsible Business release: The Future of Finance”

Unemployment Rises as “Most Talked-About” Problem: Global Poll

[jumplinks] Download the Press Release (PDF) 15 December 2011 – Unemployment has joined corruption and poverty among the world’s most talked-about global issues, according to a new poll for the BBC across 23 countries. The 11,293 people surveyed for the annual World Speaks poll by GlobeScan between July and September were asked to say which of a range of global issues they had talked about with friends and family over the past month. On average across the countries polled, nearly a … “Unemployment Rises as “Most Talked-About” Problem: Global Poll”

Greater Climate Concern in Developing Nations Persists

GlobeScan’s tracking survey reveals that public concern about climate change has been volatile since the 2009 Copenhagen summit’s failure to agree to a global deal to reduce carbon emissions—but concern continues to be higher in developing than in developed countries.

This reflects our 2010 Greendex survey of 17 countries, where British, Swedish, German, and American respondents showed the lowest levels of agreement with the proposition “global warming will worsen my way of life within my own lifetime,” while Brazilian, Indian, and Chinese respondents showed high levels of agreement. This may reflect the greater potential for catastrophic events such as natural disasters to impact people’s lives in developing nations.

This decline in concern about climate change may result from increasing feelings of urgency about other social and economic issues overshadowing long-term concerns about the environment. In 2011, corruption, extreme poverty, the rising cost of food and energy, and terrorism emerge as greater preoccupations on a global level than climate change.

Particular factors that are likely to be behind the decline in the perceived seriousness of climate change in developed countries between 2000 and 2003—and again in 2010—are the impact of the September 11 attacks, the subsequent conflicts in the Middle East, and the global economic downturn. The widely publicized “Climategate” controversy is also likely to have been a factor.

France, Japan, and the USA have seen continuing decreases in the perceived seriousness of climate change over the past three years. Under the influence of the ongoing economic slowdown—and of the Fukushima disaster—climate change has lost attention in some major economies, and is slow to regain it.

Over the past year, however, climate change has recovered its position as an issue of serious concern in some developed and developing countries, particularly in Ecuador, Peru, Turkey, and Russia.


Finding from the GlobeScan Radar, Wave 2, 2011

For more information on this finding, please contact Sam Mountford (Read Bio)

Public hostility to foreign corporate takeovers fading?

More than a year after Kraft Foods’ takeover of UK confectionery company Cadbury, it still appears that the American food giant is having trouble digesting its new acquisition.

After an exodus of Cadbury executives following the merger, Kraft was criticised earlier this year for attempting to persuade Cadbury workers to leave its deficit-hit final salary pension scheme, and with the recent announcement of the demerger of Kraft’s US grocery and snack businesses, Cadbury now faces the prospect of a third major change in its ownership structure in less than five years. These developments will have done little to allay the worries of those who feared that Cadbury would find it hard to preserve its own culture as a small part of a large global group.

But despite this latest example of the problems that often beset foreign takeovers of ‘national champion’ companies, GlobeScan’s data suggest that public sentiment is gradually coming to terms with them. Across our tracking countries, those who disagree that government should prevent foreign companies from buying important national ones has increased from 28% in 2006 to 36% in 2010, the year of the Cadbury takeover.

In straitened economic times, it may be that the public’s head is starting to win over its heart on this issue, and that people are coming to attach more value to the potential for expansion and increased profitability that foreign ownership can bring than an emotional attachment to a familiar national brand. But caution is needed. Protectionists are still firmly in the majority, and while opposition to foreign takeovers decreased in the USA over this period, it increased sharply in China, and also began to climb back up in the UK in 2010–likely in response to the Kraft/Cadbury episode. Companies eyeing potential foreign acquisitions would be well advised to continue to tread carefully.


Finding from the GlobeScan Radar, Wave 2, 2010

For more information on this finding, please contact Sam Mountford (Read Bio)

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GlobeScan is an independent, employee-owned insights consultancy whose mission is to help co-create a more sustainable and equitable future. We work with large companies, NGOs and multi-lateral organizations to help them better understand and respond to stakeholder expectations and societal issues.

The only way we can do this effectively is through the generous participation of our expert community in our research projects. In return, we will share exclusive reports, invite you to interesting webinars and make donations to One Tree Planted, a leading reforestation charity.

Are you interested in our work? To get involved join our expert community where your opinions will help shape the direction of some of the most influential organizations in the world.

Social Media Users “More Active” As Ethical Consumers: Global Poll

20 July 2011 – Regular users of Facebook, Twitter and other online social media expect higher levels of corporate responsibility from companies, and are more likely to act on their values as ethical consumers, according to a new GlobeScan 28-nation poll released today. The poll of 28,889 people reveals that when compared to non-users of social media, regular users hold companies to a higher ethical standard, particularly when it comes to their environmental responsibility, and are also more likely to act … “Social Media Users “More Active” As Ethical Consumers: Global Poll”

Sharp fall in perceived responsibility of IT sector in China

Labour standards scandals such as those at Apple supplier Foxconn are having an impact on Chinese consumers’ perceptions of the CSR performance of technology companies, the latest GlobeScan tracking suggests.

At the start of the last decade, the technology sector was positively rated for its CSR by Chinese consumers, with a net score of +54, indicating that most tended to view the industry as “one of the best” in fulfilling its responsibilities to society.

This year, however, there has been a further sharp fall in Chinese ratings of the IT sector’s responsibility, and it now lies at +23.

This rating remains substantially better than many other sectors, particularly those like the oil industry with major environmental impacts to contend with, but also of the food and finance sectors.

But this decline – mirrored in other major economies – shows that leading technology companies cannot afford to be complacent as they develop their operations in China and need to show that their reputation for innovations does not become tarnished by sweat-shop workplace ethics.


Finding from the GlobeScan Radar, Wave 2, 2011

For more information on this finding, please contact Sam Mountford (Read Bio)

Indian Brands Set to Conquer the West: New Report

Download the Report (PDF) Key findings: Western brands need to watch out. Self-confident Indians place seven local champions in their Top 10. (UK index had just four indigenous British brands.) Index leaders have successfully penetrated Western markets. Infosys (No 1) and Tata (No 2) are both true global corporations, with significant investments in US and UK. Top-rated brands exploit high value sectors previously dominated by the West. Infosys develops 3D phone screens. Tata makes Land Rovers. Indians value engineering and construction. In India, civil … “Indian Brands Set to Conquer the West: New Report”

Rising Food Prices Are Changing What We Eat, Reveals New Global Food Survey

World statesmen, actors and musicians start global conversation on food 15 June 2011 – People around the world are changing what they eat because of the rising cost of food according to a new global survey released today as part of the GROW campaign. Agriculture Ministers from the powerful group of G20 countries are meeting in France next week and will discuss the global food price crisis. The public opinion poll was conducted in 17 countries including Australia, Brazil, Germany, Ghana, … “Rising Food Prices Are Changing What We Eat, Reveals New Global Food Survey”

Increased Concern over GM Crops in Many Countries, Particularly USA

Genetic modification of food crops is an issue on which public concern has increased significantly in a number of countries over the last few years. Most notably, despite the wide prevalence of GM foods available for sale in the US, this is the market where public concern about genetic modification has increased most sharply—the proportion rating GM crops as a very serious issue now stands at 41 per cent, up 16 points since 2003. Despite the high media profile in the UK and refusal by many major food retailers to stock GM foods, concern there is lower. It is highest in Mexico, where nearly two-thirds consider the issue to be serious.


Finding from the GlobeScan Radar, Wave 2, 2010

For more information on this finding, please contact Sam Mountford (Read Bio)

Egyptians more focused on costly food than lack of democracy?

As a new military-led government takes the reins in Cairo following Hosni Mubarak’s departure, our most recent issues polling is a reminder that bread-and-butter issues, as much as democratic reform, may have been instrumental in the popular uprising, and will be critical if public support for a new government is to be secured. Food prices, rather than free speech, appears to be the problem that most preoccupies Egyptians.

GlobeScan found last summer that Egyptians were more likely to have talked about rising food and energy prices than any other global problem over the last month (see map), and that Egypt was alongside Indonesia, Nigeria, and Mexico in seeing food and energy prices as among the top three most important global issues. In contrast, Egyptians ranked human rights abuses only as the ninth most serious global problem. With prices of food commodities across the world expected to soar further over months to come, can we expect to see Egyptian-style unrest spread across the developing world?


Finding from GlobeScan Radar Wave 2, 2010


For more information on this finding, please contact Sam Mountford.