British sugar giant under fire over tax
Anti-poverty charity ActionAid has accused Associated British Foods of engaging in tax avoidance schemes designed to prevent paying millions of pounds in tax to the government of Zambia.
As detailed in a new report published by the charity, the London-listed group has been paying “virtually no corporation tax” in Zambia, one of the poorest countries in the world.
Zambia Sugar recently posted record pre-tax profits and reported its plantation would be increasing capacity to produce more sugar for the European and African markets. The subsidiary contributed less than 0.5% of its US$123m pre-tax profits in corporation tax between 2007 and 2012, and ActionAid hopes these findings will add pressure on the Chancellor to make progress in tackling international tax avoidance.
The charity claims the African subsidiary found ways of drawing off a third of its pre-tax profits out of Zambia into a number of different tax havens.
Zambia Sugar is owned by Illovo Sugar Ltd, the central parent company of all ABF’s African sugar operations, via a network of intermediate companies in Mauritius, Ireland, the Netherlands and Jersey.