Oxfam International Blogs - corporate social responsibility http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/tags/corporate-social-responsibility en One Year of Action To End Human Suffering Behind Our Food http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/19-07-10-one-year-action-end-human-suffering-behind-our-food <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>One year ago, Oxfam launched the Behind the Price campaign to end the human suffering behind our food. Thanks to you and your support, the campaign has already achieved some big wins.</strong>&nbsp;</p><p>No one should have to go hungry to put food on our tables.</p><p>Yet we live in a world where the people who produce the food we buy in supermarkets work in unsafe conditions, are subjected to exploitation and harassment on the job, and don’t earn enough to feed their families.</p><p>That’s why Oxfam launched the <a href="https://www.behindtheprice.org/en/" rel="nofollow"><strong>Behind the Price campaign</strong></a> to call attention to this suffering–and demand that it ends.</p><p><strong>Consumers Demand Change</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Since the campaign launched, hundreds of thousands of people like you have put down their forks and heeded the call to think about where our food comes from and who produces it. In fact, more than 232,200 people in over 100 countries have taken action to end human suffering in our food!</p><p>As one of the most powerful actors in the food system, supermarkets have been a key target.</p><ul><li><a href="https://oxfamapps.org/blog/help-keep-up-the-pressure-on-aldi/" rel="nofollow"><strong>In the UK</strong></a>, shoppers delivered letters<a href="https://oxfamapps.org/blog/help-keep-up-the-pressure-on-aldi/" rel="nofollow"></a> to supermarket managers.</li><li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/oxfamnovib/videos/448570408998938/" rel="nofollow"><strong>In the Netherlands</strong></a>, consumers and supermarket employees saw spray-painted “Green Graffiti”<a href="https://www.facebook.com/oxfamnovib/videos/448570408998938/" rel="nofollow"></a> outside of supermarkets.</li><li><a href="https://www.oxfam.de/ueber-uns/aktuelles/2019-02-14-aldi-brichst-uns-herz" rel="nofollow"><strong>German supermarket shoppers</strong></a> were met with hearts on Valentine’s Day, while <a href="https://twitter.com/OxfamItalia/status/1122749867988856832" rel="nofollow"><strong>shoppers in Italy</strong></a> took to social media to call on their stores to take action.<a href="https://www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/stories/behind-the-barcodes-food-truck-tour/" rel="nofollow"><strong> </strong></a></li><li><a href="https://www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/stories/behind-the-barcodes-food-truck-tour/" rel="nofollow"><strong>In the US</strong></a>, a custom-built food truck toured the country, visiting customers along the way and sharing stories about the people behind the food in their grocery stores.</li><li><a href="http://www.monlaitestlocal.africa/" rel="nofollow"><strong>Citizens in six West African countries</strong></a><span> stood up for fair and local milk, backed by musician Oumou Sangaré. </span></li><li><span></span><a href="https://philippines.oxfam.org/latest/press-release/groups-%E2%80%98hungry-change%E2%80%99-demand-inclusion-food-justice-and-land-rights-campaign" rel="nofollow"><strong>In the Philippines</strong></a><span>, farmers, food workers, and activists banded together on World Food Day (16 October) to urge candidates to ensure basic issues like food security are part of their election platforms.</span></li></ul><p><strong>All of this in one year - and we are just getting started!</strong></p><p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QBls8z6rrzI" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p><p><strong>Supermarkets Step Up</strong></p><p>Consumer action is working: supermarkets have responded by making commitments to tackle the exploitation of food workers and farmers.</p><p>Two Dutch companies, <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/19-02-21-dutch-supermarket-albert-heijn-takes-action-human-rights-oxfam-campaign"><strong>Albert Heijn</strong></a> and <a href="https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/dutch-supermarket-jumbo-publishes-new-human-rights-due-diligence-policy-in-response-to-oxfam-campaign" rel="nofollow"><strong>Jumbo</strong></a>, have made far-reaching commitments on sustainability and human rights. Others, such as <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/reactions/oxfam-reaction-aldis-human-rights-policy" rel="nofollow"><strong>German supermarket Aldi South</strong></a>, Tesco in the UK, and supermarkets in Thailand, have made progress on identifying where the risks of human rights violations are in order to better prevent them from occurring. These are important steps on the long road to transforming the global food system so it is fair for everyone–farmers, food workers, and consumers.</p><p><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/19-07-03-how-are-supermarkets-taking-responsibility-ending-human-suffering-their-food"><strong>Oxfam’s 2019 supermarket scorecard</strong></a> reflects the early stages of progress: almost all companies improved their scores in the past year. Following public actions in several countries against Aldi South, Ahold Delhaize, and Jumbo, these supermarkets are moving up, showing that they are listening to their customers.</p><p>But the gap is widening; laggard supermarkets continue to show little or no sign of improvement. Companies like Aldi North, Plus, Lidl, and Whole Foods have taken few, if any, steps to address human rights abuses, leaving them even further behind their competitors.</p><p><strong>Real Progress for Seafood Workers in Southeast Asia</strong></p><p>Commitments from supermarkets can only go so far - they need to be implemented on the ground to be meaningful. This year we’ve seen some promising progress in the Southeast Asian seafood industry.</p><p>In June 2018, working closely with partners in Southeast Asia, <a href="https://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/supermarket-responsibilities-for-supply-chain-workers-rights-continuing-challen-620480" rel="nofollow"><strong>Oxfam found evidence of forced labor</strong></a> and inhumane working conditions, including harassment and verbal abuse within the industry, both for fishermen on boats and for women workers in processing plants. Since we published these findings and tens of thousands of people took action, at least three major seafood suppliers in Thailand have actively engaged on the issues and are making commitments to improve worker welfare, such as promoting fair recruitment practices and establishing effective grievance mechanisms for workers.</p><p>We will continue to push and support these seafood companies to make further improvements for their workers.</p><p><strong>More Work to Be Done</strong></p><p>In just one year, there has been significant progress to improve the lives of food workers and producers around the world.&nbsp;<span>We couldn’t have done it without the support of people like you. </span></p><p><span>But we’re not done yet – we have some exciting plans for 2019. </span></p><p><span>More work is needed—most supermarkets still rank far too low on Oxfam’s scorecard, meaning they are not doing enough to ensure the workers and farmers who produce their food are treated fairly.</span></p><p><strong><a href="https://www.behindtheprice.org/en/" rel="nofollow">Join the campaign to end suffering in our food!</a>&nbsp;</strong><strong>Together, we can ensure that human suffering is never an ingredient in the food we eat.</strong></p><p><em>This entry posted on 10 July 2019, by Oliver Gottfried, Oxfam Senior Campaigns Strategist.</em></p><p><em>Photo: Campaigners in the Philippines push for food security. Credit: Vin Aranas/GRAISEA2 PMU</em></p><p><em>&nbsp;</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>One Year of Action To End Human Suffering Behind Our Food</h2></div> Wed, 10 Jul 2019 07:27:00 +0000 Guest Blogger 82022 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/19-07-10-one-year-action-end-human-suffering-behind-our-food#comments How are supermarkets taking responsibility for ending human suffering in their food? http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/19-07-03-how-are-supermarkets-taking-responsibility-ending-human-suffering-their-food <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Last year, Oxfam launched a campaign to get 16 major supermarkets to take responsibility for ending human suffering in their food supply chains. A year later, here's their report card.</strong></p><p><span>Human suffering is a common ingredient in many of the products on our supermarket shelves. The way supermarkets do business – their drive for cheaper produce and bigger profits – means millions of workers and smallholder producers work long hours, for poverty pay in poor conditions.</span></p><p><strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/behindtheprice" rel="nofollow">Oxfam’s Behind the Prices scorecard</a></strong> aims to change this. Every year we use publicly available information to assess the policies and practices of the 16 biggest and fastest growing supermarkets in Germany, Netherlands, the UK and the US and score them on what they are doing to protect the rights of workers and small-scale producers in their supply chains.</p><p>Our first scorecard – launched 12 months ago – revealed that the plight of workers and producers was not on the supermarkets radar. After a year of campaigning which saw over 200,000 shoppers contact stores to demand action, our 2019 scorecard looks at whether anything has changed.</p><p><img alt="Behind the Price supermarket scorecard 2019" title="Behind the Price supermarket scorecard 2019" height="2587" width="1161" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/behind-the-price-scorecard-2019-globalbhrrc_0.jpg" /></p><p><em>Oxfam's Supermarket Scorecard 2019. Note: The score of a parent company applies to any subsidiary companies; for example, Asda’s score is based on Walmart’s assessment and Albert Heijn’s on Ahold Delhaize’s.&nbsp;</em></p><p><strong>Slow progress – but still progress</strong></p><p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/behindtheprice" rel="nofollow">Oxfam’s 2019 Supermarket Scorecard</a> shows that some supermarkets are beginning to change the way they do business. However, change has been slow and patchy, and no supermarket is doing anywhere near enough to ensure the people who produce our food have a decent income and working conditions.</p><p>Even Tesco (UK), the best performing supermarket for the second year in a row and one of the most improved retailers this year, scores just 38 percent. A handful of other supermarkets, such as Sainsbury’s (UK) and Wal-Mart (US) have made very limited improvements over the last year, while eight of the 16 companies, including Lidl (Germany), Plus (Netherlands) and Whole Foods (US), have done little or nothing.</p><p>Despite this rather gloomy assessment there have been flashes of light that show that supermarkets will change when they feel pressure from customers.</p><p><strong>Supermarkets are starting to open up</strong></p><p>Supermarkets have made most progress on transparency - scoring an average of 17 percent this year, up from just 5 percent in 2018.</p><p>Three companies, Dutch supermarkets Albert Heijn (a subsidiary of Ahold Delhaize) and Jumbo, and German retailer Aldi South, published <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/19-02-21-dutch-supermarket-albert-heijn-takes-action-human-rights-oxfam-campaign"><strong>new policies on human rights</strong></a> in their supply chains over the last year. The two Dutch companies are the only supermarkets who have <a href="https://www.oxfamnovib.nl/kenniscentrum/blog-kenniscentrum/the-first-step-is-the-hardest-dutch-supermarket-jumbo-moves-in-right-direction-on-human-rights%3E%3E" rel="nofollow"><strong>committed to publish details</strong></a> of their primary suppliers for their own brand products. This means many Dutch shoppers will know more about where their products have come from, and farmers and workers will know more about who is buying their produce.</p><p>In another positive development, eight of the 16 companies have started to publicly identify and address policies and practices that could lead to the abuse of workers and smallholder farmers in their supply chains.</p><p><strong>Baby steps forward on workers rights</strong></p><p>Progress on workers rights has been more modest with supermarkets increasing their average score by just 6 percent to 18 percent in 2019.</p><p>Nevertheless, over half of companies have now committed to take proactive action to prevent the use of forced labour, and nearly half of companies have pledged to work with suppliers when incidents of abuse are highlighted and not ‘cut and run’ – a practice which can lead to workers losing their jobs.</p><p><strong>Failing protect farmers’ and women’s rights</strong></p><p>Supermarkets have done next to nothing<a href="https://oxfamapps.org/blog/7-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-women-who-produce-our-food/" rel="nofollow"></a> to improve the lot of smallholder producers. There has been no measurable progress over the last year beyond selling a handful of <strong><a href="http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/Buying-Fairtrade" rel="nofollow">Fairtrade certified products</a></strong> (which nearly all supermarkets do now) and supermarkets score an average of just 11 percent on this issue.</p><p>Retailers are doing even less when it comes to <a href="https://oxfamapps.org/blog/7-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-women-who-produce-our-food/" rel="nofollow"><strong>protecting women’s rights</strong></a>. Supermarkets score an average of just 7 percent while ten of the 16 companies score zero on this issue. While most supermarkets ‘get’ the fact that women are not treated equally – and that for example women often earn less than men for doing the same jobs – they are not doing anything about it. Only Tesco and Ahold Delhaize have made improvements this year and - together with Wal-Mart –have taken steps to uphold the rights of women in their supply chains.</p><p><strong>What next for supermarkets?</strong></p><p>Oxfam, together with hundreds of thousands of shoppers, will be pushing for deeper, faster, and broader change in the next 12 months.</p><p>We will be pushing all supermarkets to:</p><ul><li>publish details where their own label products are sourced from;</li><li>put plans in place to ensure workers in their supply chains are paid a living wage;</li><li>work with suppliers to end discrimination against women; and</li><li>eliminate unfair trading practices that drive down the incomes and working conditions of producers and workers.</li></ul><p>And we look forward to the day when we can all shop safe in the knowledge that the men and women who put the food on our plates earn a decent income, work in safe conditions, and are treated fairly.</p><p><em>This entry posted on 3 July 2019 by Monica Romis. Monica is part of Oxfam GB’s Private Sector Team, and leads the Supermarket Scorecard for the Behind the Prices campaign.</em></p><p><em>Photo:&nbsp;Seafood worker. Credit: Adrian Mulya/TheSustainable Seafood Alliance Indonesia</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>How are supermarkets taking responsibility for ending human suffering in their food?</h2></div> Wed, 03 Jul 2019 15:25:23 +0000 Guest Blogger 82018 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/19-07-03-how-are-supermarkets-taking-responsibility-ending-human-suffering-their-food#comments Largest Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn takes action on human rights after Oxfam Novib campaign http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/19-02-21-dutch-supermarket-albert-heijn-takes-action-human-rights-oxfam-campaign <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Campaigning works.&nbsp;Following Oxfam Novib’s Behind the Barcodes campaign, <a href="https://www.ah.nl/" rel="nofollow">Albert Heijn</a> supermarket is introducing new policies on human rights and sustainability. The supermarket chain Jumbo and the parent company of Albert Heijn, Ahold Delhaize, still lag behind.</strong></p><p>Supermarket Albert Heijn commits that their new policy will bring big improvements on women rights, living wage and transparency about where products come from. Albert Heijn is the first supermarket in the world to make such far-reaching commitments following the Behind the Barcodes campaign from Oxfam Novib.</p><p><em>“In the last eight months we have been in intense negotiations with Albert Heijn. These commitments look promising.” - Michiel Servaes, Director, Oxfam Novib</em></p><p><strong>Fighting exploitation</strong></p><p>As part of the global <a href="https://www.behindthebarcodes.org/en/" rel="nofollow">Behind the Barcodes campaign</a>, which launched in June 2018, Oxfam Novib examines what supermarkets are doing to help solve issues around exploitation of workers in developing countries. In the Netherlands, Oxfam Novib focused on how the five biggest supermarkets (Albert Heijn, Jumbo, Lidl, Aldi and Plus) treat workers and farmers in developing countries who produce our food.</p><p><em>“It’s good to see that Albert Heijn, the biggest Dutch supermarket, is finally taking responsibility for the people in their production chain, including those in developing countries. Albert Heijn shows that it’s possible.”</em><br><em>- Michiel Servaes, Director Oxfam Novib</em></p><p><strong>New human rights commitments</strong></p><p>With this announcement, Albert Heijn commits to:</p><ul><li>prevent human rights violations and improve labour conditions</li><li>take responsibility for its own brand products, and later also for other brands</li><li>research living wage, women rights and labour conditions in consultation with local workers, farmers, labor unions and NGO’s.</li></ul><p><span>This is the first time that a&nbsp;Dutch&nbsp;supermarket has publicly&nbsp;committed&nbsp;to make human rights part of the standard training for its own buyers&nbsp;before the end of 2019.&nbsp;The company&nbsp;states that all current&nbsp;buyers&nbsp;will&nbsp;be required to&nbsp;complete&nbsp;the new training&nbsp;by 2020&nbsp;at the latest.&nbsp;</span></p><p><strong>Keeping a close eye</strong></p><p>Oxfam Novib will monitor the new policy of Albert Heijn and check if Albert Heijn will indeed do what it has promised - because putting these promises into practice is will help take the suffering out of our food.</p><p><img alt="Oxfam Novib pushing Dutch supermarket Jumbo to end the suffering in its supply chains. Photo: Oxfam" title="Oxfam Novib pushing Dutch supermarket Jumbo to end the suffering in its supply chains. Photo: Oxfam" height="827" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/akeerlijke-boodschappen9-jumbo-1240.jpg" /></p><p><em>Oxfam Novib campaigning for Dutch supermarket Jumbo to end the suffering in its supply chains. Credit: Oxfam</em></p><p><strong>Jumbo and Ahold Delhaize lag behind</strong></p><p>Parent company <a href="https://www.aholddelhaize.com/en/home/" rel="nofollow">Ahold Delhaize</a> should follow its subsidiary. As the owner of both Albert Heijn and many other supermarkets around the world, their action would have an even bigger impact on the lives of farmers in developing countries.</p><p>Oxfam Novib hopes that other Dutch supermarkets, like <a href="https://www.jumbo.com/" rel="nofollow">Jumbo</a>, will follow the example of Albert Heijn. The negotiations with Jumbo to date have not resulted in any concrete commitments.</p><p><strong>You can help end the suffering in our food</strong></p><p>Oxfam Novib knows that this campaign will take a lot of patience.</p><p>We will keep on pushing the five biggest supermarkets in the Netherlands towards sustainable improvements in their supply chains.</p><p>We will continue to speak out against the exploitation of workers in developing countries, and against inequality and injustice.&nbsp;</p><p>We need your support for this.</p><p><a href="https://www.behindthebarcodes.org/en/" rel="nofollow"><strong>Join the movement to end the suffering in our food.</strong></a></p><p><em>This entry posted on 20 February 2019, by Tim Zijlstra, Oxfam Novib Campaigner.</em></p><p><em>Photo: Oxfam Novib campaigners hand over 23,000 signatures to Albert Heijn staff, as part of the Behind the Barcodes Campaign. Credit: Oxfam Novib</em></p><p><strong><em>Read more</em></strong></p><ul><li><strong><em>More on <a href="https://www.oxfamnovib.nl/kenniscentrum/blog-kenniscentrum/18499-albert-heijn-commits-to-become-a-leader-on-human-rights" rel="nofollow">Albert Heijn's commitments to become a leader on human rights</a></em></strong></li><li><strong><em>Read the Oxfam report: <a href="https://indepth.oxfam.org.uk/behind-the-price/" rel="nofollow">Ripe for Change: Ending human suffering in supermarket supply chains</a></em></strong></li><li><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/3302"><strong><em>More blogs on food justice</em></strong></a></li></ul></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Largest Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn takes action on human rights after Oxfam Novib campaign</h2></div> Thu, 21 Feb 2019 16:35:26 +0000 Guest Blogger 81876 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/19-02-21-dutch-supermarket-albert-heijn-takes-action-human-rights-oxfam-campaign#comments A life of toil: Women in the seafood industry http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-07-30-life-toil-women-seafood-industry <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>A recent Oxfam report found that the most vulnerable group of people in our seafood supply chains are the women of Southeast Asia who day in, and day out process and package shrimp for the leading supermarkets across the world. They face appalling working conditions: lack of bathroom breaks, excessive work hours for far less than living wages.</strong></p><p>Most women workers in the seafood sector come from appalling poverty. <br><br>In Indonesia, women workers migrate from the poorest part of the country, where agricultural livelihoods are diminishing and can no longer sustain their living. In Thailand, most women workers are migrants from neighboring Myanmar and Cambodia.</p><p>Like all migrants, most are looking for a better quality of life and a better future for their family. But the reality of working in the seafood industry does not fulfill this promise.</p><h3>Women are hit the hardest</h3><p>Last month Oxfam launched a <a href="https://www.behindtheprice.org/" rel="nofollow">global campaign</a> to challenge the widening inequality in the world’s food supply chains. Oxfam’s <a href="https://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/supermarket-responsibilities-for-supply-chain-workers-rights-continuing-challen-620480" rel="nofollow">latest report on worker’s rights</a> in the seafood sector shows that workers in seafood supply chains in Thailand and Indonesia are still reporting workers rights violations with women being amongst the most impacted, despite significant reform efforts by the governments, the industry and the international community.</p><p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/behindtheprice/scorecard" rel="nofollow">Oxfam’s latest supermarkets scorecard</a> shows that the majority of supermarkets (12 out of the 16 assessed) did not receive a single score for making commitments to empower women in their global supply chains.</p><p>Oxfam estimates that 80% of workers in the processing plants in Southeast Asia are made up of women. They mostly work in processing plants to peel, cook and pack shrimp for major export markets.</p><p><img alt="Chart of gender distribution in working roles. 2017 ILO workers survey" title="Chart of gender distribution in working roles. 2017 ILO workers survey" height="722" width="723" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="3" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/work-gender-distribution.jpg" /><br><em>Figure: Women and men work in distinct roles in shrimp supply chains, and this can result in differential income and treatment. For instance, 48% of women workers surveyed reported to have received the minimum wage and above (approx. THB 9,000/month) while 73% of men workers said they have received the minimum wage and above (according to the 2017 ILO workers survey).</em></p><h3>What are women working in seafood main concerns?</h3><p>After extensive interviews and consultations with women workers and NGO partners, here are the key concerns for the women workers in the seafood sector:</p><p><strong>1. Low pay, use of piece rates and excessive working hours</strong></p><p>According to the <a href="http://www.ilo.org/asia/publications/WCMS_619727/lang--en/index.htm" rel="nofollow">ILO 2017 survey in Thailand</a>, 48% of women workers reported to have received the minimum wage and above (approx. THB 9,000/month) while 73% of men workers said they have received the minimum wage and above.</p><p>In Indonesia, <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/18-06-27-behind-indonesias-seafood-sector-domins-fight-rights-women-workers">Domin Dhamayanti</a>, a human rights activist at Surabaya Institute of Labor Solidarity, said that women do not normally earn a minimum wage but are earning based on their shrimp peeling targets. To reach the minimum wage (which varies across different locations), women workers have to peel at least 900 shrimp/hour for a 9- or 10-hour work day). They are normally required to work 6 days a week and depending on the raw materials, they may be required to work on their day off as well.</p><p><strong>2. Unsafe, unsanitary and degrading working conditions</strong></p><p>Toilet breaks are major issues for women workers in Asia.</p><p>A large number of workers have to share a small number of toilets. Toilet breaks are only allowed twice a day (for an 9-hour shift) and workers are only allowed 10 – 15 minutes for toilet breaks. Many said that they usually have to queue up to use the facilities. They would be scolded by their supervisors or given warnings if they spent longer than 15 minutes during the toilet break.</p><p>Many women chose to abstain from drinking water or wait until their break to go to the toilet to avoid possible penalty. As well as the loss of dignity daily, this can also have long-term health consequences.</p><p><strong>3. Food insecurity</strong></p><p>This is perhaps the cruelest irony Oxfam came across during our research for the campaign – too many of the women and men who are producing our food said they normally go hungry or worry that they won’t be able to put food on the table.</p><p>To repeat that with statistics, over 90% of women factory workers surveyed said they worry they won’t have enough to eat after having worked for nearly 10 hours a day.</p><p>While shrimp are becoming cheaper to consumers in Europe and the US, a large number of men and women who are producing these cheap products too often go hungry.</p><p><strong>4. Lack of rights awareness and freedom of association</strong></p><p>Women workers have to endure policies that do not promote gender equality in their workplace, and often these come from the fact that there is no platform in which they can organize themselves or learn about their rights.</p><p>Recent research by the CSO Coalition in Thailand shows that most workers access information about their rights through national NGOs but the engagement between companies, NGOs and trade unions are considerably limited in many Asian countries.</p><p>In Thailand, <a href="http://www.ilo.org/global/standards/introduction-to-international-labour-standards/conventions-and-recommendations/lang--en/index.htm" rel="nofollow">ILO Conventions 87 and 98</a>, which promote freedom of association and collective bargaining, are still not ratified. This makes it even more challenging for workers to have a voice in their workplace.</p><h3>We can change this</h3><p>If you believe that human suffering should not be an ingredient in our food, <a href="https://www.behindtheprice.org/en/" rel="nofollow">you have the power to change this</a> – supermarkets care about what their consumers think.</p><p>Women and men who are producing food should not have to endure low wages, terrible working conditions and go hungry when they are producing our food.</p><p>Oxfam’s campaign is calling on all supermarkets to engage in radical transparency – to know and show what they are doing and to urgently address these problems in their global supply chains.</p><p><a href="https://www.behindtheprice.org/en/" rel="nofollow"><strong>Join the call to end human suffering in our food!</strong></a></p><p><img alt="End the human suffering in our food - cartoon." title="End the human suffering in our food - cartoon." height="1396" width="2048" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/cartoon-dutch-supermarket-behindtheprice_0.jpg" /></p><p><em>This entry posted by Art Prapha, Senior Advisor in the Private Sector Department, Oxfam America, on 25 July 2018.</em></p><p><em>Photo: Melati, seafood worker in Indonesia. Credit: Adrian Mulya/The Sustainable Seafood Alliance Indonesia</em></p><p><em>N.B.: This is part two of a two-part blog series – read also: How supermarkets can promote gender equality in their global supply chains.</em></p><p><em>&nbsp;</em></p><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>A life of toil: Women in the seafood industry</h2></div> Mon, 30 Jul 2018 12:13:29 +0000 Guest Blogger 81663 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-07-30-life-toil-women-seafood-industry#comments Bold ambitions bring big responsibilities: Tackling the human suffering behind our food http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-07-18-bold-ambitions-bring-big-responsibilities-tackling-human-suffering-behind-our-food <div class="field field-name-body"><p>Oxfam welcomes <a href="http://www.inclsve.com/oxfam-report-indeed-ripe-for-change-that-is-by-oxfam-itself/#What_new" rel="nofollow">Roland Waardenburg’s blog</a> as his contribution to the debate around the issues we are putting forth in our <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/ripe-change" rel="nofollow">report Ripe for Change</a> and <a href="http://www.behindtheprice.org/" rel="nofollow">Behind the Barcodes campaign</a> provides us with an opportunity to explain our approach and theory of change.</p><h3>The Scorecard</h3><p>Our scorecard focuses on themes rather than specific supply chains because the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights sets out an expectation that companies respect human rights&nbsp; in their business operations and supply chains, regardless of where a product originates from or what ingredients it contains. Companies should strive to ensure that all products are free of human suffering and respect labor and human rights. Like other benchmarking tools (<a href="https://knowthechain.org/" rel="nofollow">Know the Chain</a>, <a href="https://www.corporatebenchmark.org/" rel="nofollow">Corporate Human Rights Benchmark</a>) our scorecard is based on international standards and expert input which recognize that there are systemic issues at play which require a range of actors to play a role in tackling them. This is why we also have included recommendations to governments in our report, for example.</p><h3>Transparent methodology</h3><p>In his blog Mr. Waardenburg’s suggests that our research and methodology are not transparent. <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/behindtheprice/scorecard" rel="nofollow">Oxfam’s scorecard</a> can be viewed on our website in two ways. One with <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/behindtheprice/scorecard" rel="nofollow">final scores </a>in the themes, which is meant to engage consumers and the other for those wanting to <a href="http://oxfamilibrary.openrepository.com/oxfam/bitstream/10546/620478/3/db-supermarkets-scorecard-data-210618-en.xlsx" rel="nofollow">understand the data</a> on which we based the scores. The methodology we used for our scorecard, our research and launch report, case studies and calculation for our killer facts can all be found in a <a href="https://oxfamilibrary.openrepository.com/bitstream/handle/10546/620478/tb-ripe-for-change-methodology-note-210618-en.pdf;jsessionid=E182AC559765954500062260A9255C4A?sequence=1" rel="nofollow">methodology report </a>on our website as well.</p><h3>Corporate responsibility</h3><p>Mr. Waardenburg suggests that brands have as much a responsibility for products on supermarket shelves as the supermarkets. Oxfam agrees, it is why we launched our <a href="https://www.behindthebrands.org/" rel="nofollow">Behind the Brands</a> campaign in 2013 with a similar approach and together with supporters achieved ground-breaking commitments on supply chain issues involving land, climate change and women’s empowerment. In fact, that campaign was the impetus for launching <a href="http://www.behindtheprice.org/" rel="nofollow">Behind the Barcodes</a>, to bring another powerful range of stakeholders into the scope of our research and public engagement.</p><p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Gg2oj40BUsk" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></p><h3>Human rights</h3><p>The food retailers’ business model, size and complex operations or supply chains can never be&nbsp; an excuse to tolerate human rights violations. The UNGPs clearly apply in this context and no company with which we have engaged has suggested that they do not have a responsibility to respect human rights in their supply chains. In fact, some retailers have publicly acknowledged this responsibility and are already taking steps.&nbsp; But a first step in solving these issues is committing to meaningfully engaging with the stakeholders in the supply chains through a comprehensive due diligence process and putting a plan forward to address the issues.</p><h3>Consumers and sustainability</h3><p>Retailers can contribute to improvements in sustainability both as owners of private label brands and as buyers of premium brand products. Retailers have a choice of what premium brands they source, where they place these on their shelves and how they market these. As such, they can significantly influence the choice of consumers and educate them on how products are being grown and produced.</p><h3>Certification</h3><p>While certification can provide solutions to some of the sustainability challenges of today, the responsibility to ensure human rights are respected remains with those companies who source the food we all consume as well as the companies in their supply chain. For a more detailed review of Oxfam’s take on the role of certification, please refer to page 86 in our report <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/ripe-change" rel="nofollow">Ripe for Change</a>.</p><h3>A living income</h3><p>Mr. Waardenburg also questioned Oxfam’s data on the living income of cocoa farmers. For an explanation of that data we have partnered with the Voice Network which regularly produces the Cocoa Barometer, in a blog: <a href="https://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2018/07/what-is-the-living-income-gap-for-cocoa-farmers-in-cote-divoire/" rel="nofollow">What is the living income gap for cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire?</a></p><h3>A critical effort</h3><p>Finally, with this campaign, Oxfam is embarking on a multi-year effort to address human rights in food supply chains, during which we will regularly update our data.</p><p>We have listened to Mr. Waardenburg’s critical comments and will take them on board as we develop the campaign over the years. We invite him to actively engage with us in the future so we can all work to ensure our food is not tainted by human suffering.</p><p><em>The entry posted on 18 July 2018, by <em> Irit Tamir, Director of Oxfam America's Private Sector Department.</em><br></em></p><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Bold ambitions bring big responsibilities: Tackling the human suffering behind our food</h2></div> Wed, 18 Jul 2018 13:53:36 +0000 Irit Tamir 81649 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-07-18-bold-ambitions-bring-big-responsibilities-tackling-human-suffering-behind-our-food#comments Business leaders raise the bar on corporate tax behavior http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-02-08-business-leaders-raise-bar-corporate-tax-behavior <div class="field field-name-body"><p>Benjamin Franklin’s famous line that nothing is certain, except death and taxes, no longer holds true. Exposé after exposé have proved that it is all too easy for wealthy individuals and powerful corporations to sidestep their tax obligations. The practice has become so widespread that tax dodging is considered standard business practice by many corporate bosses. <br><br>This may now be set to change. The <a href="http://www.bteam.org/" rel="nofollow"><strong>B Team</strong></a>, a coalition of forward-looking business leaders including Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, and Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of the Tata Group, have announced a<a href="http://www.bteam.org/responsibletax" rel="nofollow"> new set of principles and commitments on corporate tax</a>. Despite some notable weaknesses, this initiative raises the bar on what constitutes responsible corporate tax behavior. &nbsp;<br><br>The principles require signatory companies, which currently include Allianz, Unilever and Vodafone Group Plc, to make real changes.&nbsp; For example, companies commit to publish and report on their tax strategy; not abuse tax havens; provide an explanation for any subsidiaries located in low-tax jurisdictions; and to be transparent about all the entities they own around the world. <br><br>These commitments go well beyond what is legally required of companies.&nbsp; They set a new standard for companies that claim to operate responsibly — claims that ring hollow if businesses do not pay their fair share of tax.<br><br>But the principles do fall short in important ways. Notably, by leaving the pace of implementation up to the companies themselves, and by failing to require that companies publish a full financial report for every country where they do business – an important safeguard against tax dodging. <br><br>Instead, the B Team principles require companies to provide ‘information on the taxes paid at a country level, together with information on economic activity.’ If this requirement is to be meaningful, ‘economic activity’ must include country level information on revenue, profits before tax, total corporate income taxes paid, along with a breakdown of other tax payments, assets and number of employees. This should also be accompanied by information which will enable the public to gauge whether companies are paying their fair share of tax in every country where they operate.&nbsp; This could include, for example, an explanation of why a company’s effective tax rate differs from a country’s statutory rate.<br><br>The B Team has an impressive history of marshaling forward-looking business leaders to weigh in on important and challenging social issues, such as demonstrating support for the Paris climate accords.&nbsp; Producing the principles on tax was not easy.&nbsp; The B Team convened a group of business and civil society leaders, including contributions from Oxfam, to work through contentious issues.&nbsp;&nbsp; It’s unlikely that anyone emerged from these conversations fully satisfied, but the discussion delivered real progress.<br><br>For years Oxfam has railed against a broken international tax system that allows huge companies to dodge hundreds of billions of dollars in tax, depriving governments the world over of the money they need to invest in schools, roads, and hospitals to ensure the health and well-being of their citizens and services upon which business also rely. &nbsp;<br><br>This is a problem that must be fixed by governments – and it is hoped that the first global conference of the <a href="http://www.worldbank.org/en/events/2017/06/06/first-global-conference-of-the-platform-for-collaboration-on-tax" rel="nofollow">Platform for Collaboration on Tax</a>, taking place in New York next week, could mark the start of a new global initiative to do just that.&nbsp; But business leaders have a critically important role to play by spearheading a better way of doing business as well as championing broader reforms. &nbsp;<br><br>Oxfam, together with ActionAid and Christian Aid, published a report called ‘<a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/getting-good-towards-responsible-corporate-tax-behavior" rel="nofollow">Getting to Good</a>’ that lays out the pathway for responsible corporate behavior on tax. The B Team incorporated many of the elements from ‘Getting to Good’ in their principles.&nbsp; Importantly, the B-Team principles are also aligned with the <a href="http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/" rel="nofollow">Sustainable Development Goals</a>, which call on companies to examine how core business issues, such as wage levels and tax practices, support or undermine the fight against poverty.&nbsp; Far too often companies treat both wages and taxes as costs to be reduced rather than investments in the communities in which they operate.<br><br>Companies choose whether to take the high road or the low road on tax. Corporations choose how much money to park in offshore tax havens, they choose how secretive to be about their financial structures, they choose how aggressively to minimize the taxes they pay, and they choose, when they meet behind closed doors with politicians, whether to advocate for tax loopholes to line their own pockets, or push for a more level playing field for everyone.<br><br>Too often companies make the wrong choices.&nbsp; Offshore tax havens are flush with corporate cash, companies hide their tax activities in opaque and esoteric legal structures, and politicians are only too happy to accept corporate campaign contributions while expanding opportunities for tax dodging. &nbsp;<br><br>The new set of principles announced by the B Team could help break this cycle.&nbsp; Companies have a clear option to do right on tax. All companies should meet the basic commitments articulated by the B Team and truly forward-looking companies should do even more.&nbsp; They should issue full public reporting of their tax payments and economic activity on a country-by-country basis, align their tax payments and structures to the actual economic value created by their business, and commit to an aggressive timeline to implement responsible corporate tax behavior. &nbsp;<br><br>The B Team has called on civil society organizations to ensure that company signatories follow through on their commitments. Oxfam plans to heed that call. The <a href="https://actions.oxfam.org/international/fight-inequality-2018/petition/" rel="nofollow">fight for tax justice</a> will continue in 2018 and beyond, with an important new ally in the B Team.</p><p><em>This entry posted by Winnie Byanyima (<a href="https://twitter.com/Winnie_Byanyima" rel="nofollow">@Winnie_Byanyima</a>),&nbsp;Executive Director of Oxfam International, on 8 February 2018.</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Business leaders raise the bar on corporate tax behavior </h2></div> Thu, 08 Feb 2018 15:04:26 +0000 Winnie Byanyima 81403 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-02-08-business-leaders-raise-bar-corporate-tax-behavior#comments The toxic legacy of palm oil in Guatemala http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-04-05-toxic-legacy-palm-oil-guatemala <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>This entry posted by Aditi Sen, Senior Policy Advisor Oxfam America, and Susana Gauster, Coordinadora de Influencia Oxfam en Guatemala, on 5 April 2017.</em></p> <h3><em></em>Ensuring sustainability in Guatemala's palm oil sector requires meaningful social and ecological reform.</h3> <p><br />In June 2015 the Pasión River, which is the lifeblood of Sayaxché in Peten – a region in the northern part of Guatemala - was contaminated by a deadly spill. The spill not only destroyed the river’s aquatic life, but also the livelihoods of thousands of local families who depend on the river for sustenance. It’s been almost two years since that ecological disaster and residents of Sayaxché are still waiting for justice.</p> <p>The alleged cause of the disaster was a massive spill of toxic effluent from Reforestadora de Palma del Petén SA (<a href="http://repsa.com.gt/">REPSA</a>) – the largest palm oil company in the area. The spill was so destructive that a Guatemalan court ruled the spill an “<a href="http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Guatemalan-Court-Upholds-Ruling-Against-Company-for-Ecocide--20151226-0006.html">ecocide</a>” and ordered that REPSA suspend operations pending investigation. However the official investigation into the spill has been paralyzed by repeated legal appeals from the company , and this has  fermented conflict in the region and amplified <a href="http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/33085-guatemalan-activist-murdered-after-court-suspends-palm-oil-company-operations">threats to environmental and human rights defenders</a>.</p> <h3>Zero tolerance</h3> <p>Cargill and Wilmar are among the biggest buyers of palm oil from REPSA. In the wake of the spill, and following allegations of adverse human rights and environmental impacts as well as continued pressure from Guatemalan and international civil society groups, the two companies demanded that REPSA adopt measures to prevent violence and intimidation, and to ensure environmentally and socially sustainable palm oil production. In response, in 2016, REPSA published a policy and a plan for responsible palm oil production committing to zero tolerance for violence as well as to no deforestation or exploitation.</p> <p>Oxfam recognizes that the initial actions that global buyers Cargill and Wilmar have taken to get REPSA to put in place policies for responsible and sustainable palm oil production are significant and a step in the right direction. While REPSA has made certain sustainability improvements such as investments in water and sanitation systems for workers, the company still has a long way to go to ensure that its sustainability policy translates into changes in practice that would contribute to meaningful reform on the ground.</p> <h3>Human rights concerns</h3> <p>Following concerns raised by local civil society groups, Oxfam commissioned an independent consultant to gather feedback from key community stakeholders in Sayaxché in order to assess REPSA’s progress in implementing its sustainability plan. While there are a range of perspectives in the community, <a href="https://www.oxfamamerica.org/static/media/files/Impact_of_palm_oil_in_Sayaxche_FINAL_ENGLISH.pdf">the report</a> indicates that REPSA’s claims of improvements in its sustainability policies and practices diverge significantly from accounts provided by community stakeholders interviewed. The report not only highlights ongoing concerns about the human rights and environmental impacts of the toxic spill, but also highlights concerns about the company’s approach to stakeholder engagement — which stakeholders interviewed felt had marginalized and silenced critics, further fueling distrust and conflict in the region. </p> <p>There have also been <a href="http://speakout4defenders.com/en/single/5848a2eade7ed16d3aba18a6">new allegations of intimidation</a> by human rights defenders involved in supporting the community demands for justice.</p> <h3>Strengthening sustainability</h3> <p>In its response to the report, <a href="http://repsa.com.gt/repsa-response-oxfam-report/">REPSA</a> has acknowledged the need to deepen stakeholder dialogue and has committed to engaging in broader industry efforts to assess and address the environmental and social impacts of the spill. We welcome this commitment and hope the company can continue to demonstrate that it is serious about its commitment towards ensuring sustainable and responsible palm oil production.</p> <p>Based on its analysis of the report, Oxfam identified several steps that REPSA should take to ensure that its sustainability policies contribute to real change on the ground. To begin with, REPSA should:</p> <ol><li><strong>Publicly acknowledge the toxic spill</strong> in June 2015 that resulted in devastating consequences for the communities in Sayaxché who depend on the La Pasion River, and commit to supporting a transparent legal investigation of the spill.</li> <li><strong>Develop and carry out a process to provide remedy</strong> to those who have been adversely affected by the spill, including communities whose health and livelihoods have suffered, in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Engagement with affected communities and local organizations about the process and form of remedy is essential for the legitimacy of the process.</li> <li><strong>Be transparent</strong> on how it is implementing its sustainable palm policy – this should include publicly reporting on how it is implementing its “zero tolerance” policy on violence and intimidation and complete disclosure of its environmental impact assessments. REPSA should make this information widely available and accessible to local stakeholders.</li> </ol><p>For their part, buyers must continue to demand that REPSA make genuine progress, not just in rhetoric, but also in practice.</p> <h3>Protecting people and planet</h3> <p>While meaningful stakeholder engagement needs to start with acknowledgement of past harms paired with concerted commitments to repair those harms, it should also address the root causes of the social, ecological and human rights violations associated with palm oil production in the region. The contamination of La Pasión River is not an isolated incident but stems from a long history of problems associated with the rapid expansion of palm oil operations in Petén, which is the region accounting for one-third of the country’s palm oil production. As one of the biggest palm oil companies in the region, REPSA has the opportunity to be a catalyst in wider sector reform by proactively supporting broad stakeholder dialogue in the region.</p> <p>The real test of corporate commitments to eliminate deforestation and exploitation from palm oil supply chains is whether this results in positive impact on local communities and ensures the protection of vital ecosystems.</p> <p>Can REPSA and other companies operating in Sayaxché meet that test?</p> <h3>What you can do</h3> <p>As a consumer, demand that the palm oil that is in your chocolates and cookies comes from companies that implement responsible and sustainable practices that protect people and the planet.</p> <p><em>This entry posted by Aditi Sen, Senior Policy Advisor Oxfam America and Susana Gauster, Coordinadora de Influencia Oxfam en Guatemala, on 5 April 2017.</em></p> </div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>The toxic legacy of palm oil in Guatemala</h2></div> Wed, 05 Apr 2017 11:50:47 +0000 Guest Blogger 81006 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-04-05-toxic-legacy-palm-oil-guatemala#comments 4 critical ways oil, gas, and mining companies must support local community rights http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-07-23-4-critical-ways-oil-gas-and-mining-companies-must-support-local-community-rights <div class="field field-name-body"><p>For oil, gas, and mining companies, gaining access to land and water can make or break a project. For many communities living on that land and relying on that water, the stakes are much higher. Their land is their lifeline, and this can be lost when they don’t have a say and their rights are ignored. “The first I heard of the [Benga Coal in Mozambique] mine coming was when the trucks and machines were in my field,” said a Mozambican woman interviewed by Oxfam in November 2014. “I asked them what they were doing and they told me approval had been given…I had no choice but to move.”</p> <p>Today, Oxfam launched a <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/communityconsent" rel="nofollow">new report</a> reviewing the public policy commitments of 38 oil, gas, and mining companies around issues of community engagement and rights, with a particular focus on <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free,_prior_and_informed_consent" rel="nofollow">free, prior, and informed consent</a> (FPIC). FPIC is seen as the “gold” standard in terms of community engagement, defined as the principle that indigenous peoples and local communities must be adequately informed about projects that affect their lands in a timely manner, free of coercion and manipulation, and should be given the opportunity to approve or reject a project prior to the commencement of all activities.</p> <p><strong>For indigenous peoples, FPIC is established as a <a href="http://www.piplinks.org/report%3A-making-free-prior-%2526amp%3B-informed-consent-reality-indigenous-peoples-and-extractive-sector" rel="nofollow">right under international law</a>.</strong> For others, it is a process which helps to safeguard other human rights and to reduce the risk of social conflict. Oxfam recommends that oil, gas, and mining companies adopt an explicit and public policy commitment to FPIC and develop detailed accompanying implementation guidelines.</p> <p>Over the last year, Oxfam reached out to 38 companies and invited them to discuss their FPIC or other community engagement policies with us. We spoke to companies headquartered in the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, and South Africa, among other locations. Oxfam developed a spectrum of community engagement applicable to extractive industry projects that ranges from low (one-way information sharing) to high levels (recognition of FPIC). The figure below summarizes companies’ public commitments along the spectrum. All 38 companies in the sample at least commit to consultation or dialogue with communities.</p> <p><img alt="Companies’ public commitments along the FPIC spectrum." title="Companies’ public commitments along the FPIC spectrum." height="351" width="698" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/fpic-38-companies.png" /></p> <h3>Here are some highlights from the report:</h3> <ul><li><strong>More companies respect the right of indigenous peoples to Free Prior and Informed Consent</strong></li> </ul><p>Fourteen mining companies now have public commitments to FPIC for projects that affect indigenous peoples–almost three times as many as in 2012. This is a significant and welcome development that emerges from the recognition of indigenous peoples’ collective rights and right to self-determination. New FPIC requirements established by the World Bank’s private-sector lending arm, the <a href="http://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2011/08/big-victories-for-indigenous-peoples-and-transparency-advocates/" rel="nofollow">International Finance Corporation</a>, and the <a href="http://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2013/05/icmm-commits-to-free-prior-informed-consent-standard/" rel="nofollow">International Council on Mining and Metals</a> helped to turn the tide on the issue. Nonetheless, civil society and project-affected communities now must ensure that these policy commitments translate to practice on the ground. More work needs to be done both to support companies aiming to implement FPIC effectively and to hold them accountable when they fail to make good-faith efforts to meet their policy commitments. If not, these commitments will be reduced to mere green washing.</p> <ul><li><strong>Existing FPIC policy commitments remain weak</strong></li> </ul><p>The FPIC policy commitments we reviewed provide little detail on how FPIC will be implemented in practice. Further, they fail to provide unequivocal commitments to withdraw from a project if a community says no to a project. In addition, the commitments apply only to projects that will affect indigenous peoples (unlike FPIC commitments from several of the <a href="http://www.behindthebrands.org/en/about" rel="nofollow">largest food and beverage companies</a>, which apply to any project-affected local community). This represents a missed opportunity for companies to build trust and facilitate shared decision-making with all project-affected communities.</p> <ul><li><strong>Oil and gas companies lag behind the mining sector on their public commitments to FPIC</strong></li> </ul><p>Not one of the 17 oil and gas companies in Oxfam’s sample has publicly committed to FPIC. This is unacceptable. A few oil and gas companies claim that although they do not have explicit FPIC commitments their policies align with the concept of FPIC. This assertion is not enough. Oxfam views a comprehensive policy framework—which includes a public FPIC commitment—as vital to promoting corporate accountability and respect for human rights. Also, transparency of policies and commitments is critical to give local communities a more meaningful role in controlling their resources and to build trust between companies and communities. In short, companies need to dust off their policies and put them in the public domain to ensure accountability.</p> <ul><li><strong>Companies reviewed say little publicly about gender in the context of community engagement</strong></li> </ul><p>The impacts of the extractive industries are not gender-neutral. Women face a particular disadvantage, bearing the brunt of the negative impacts while receiving few, if any, of the benefits. They also often face exclusion from decision-making processes. Gender analysis requires specific attention in order to mitigate negative impacts and ensure equal participation. Yet, few of the 38 companies included in the sample had any mention of gender in the context of community engagement in their publicly available policy documents or guidelines.</p> <h3>In light of these findings, Oxfam recommends that companies:</h3> <p><strong>1. Adopt an explicit and unambiguous policy commitment to Free, Prior and Informed Consent</strong> and develop detailed accompanying implementation guidelines, making these publicly available;</p> <p><strong>2. Extend FPIC commitments to include all project-affected communities</strong>, while recognising FPIC as a right under international law for indigenous peoples;  </p> <p><strong>3. Conduct thorough monitoring and evaluation of FPIC processes</strong> being implemented and disclose information publicly in a language and form understood by the community while these processes are underway; and</p> <p><strong>4. Develop clear and overarching commitments to gender</strong> that respect the rights of both women and men, provide equal opportunity and equal access to mining benefits for both women and men, and involve both women and men in consultation, negotiation, and decision-making processes.</p> <p>For more findings and recommendations from this research, please see <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/communityconsent" rel="nofollow"><strong>www.oxfam.org/communityconsent</strong></a>.</p> <p><em>The entry posted by Emily Greenspan, Oxfam Senior Policy Advisor, Extractive Industries, on 23 July 2015.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: Near the community of Ka Chok, Cambodia, villagers are concerned about a mining concession granted to a Vietnamese company. Local farmers were not consulted about the concession and worry that they will not have access to farm lands in the forest. Credit: Patrick Brown/Oxfam</em></p> <p><img alt="Infographic: What is Free, Prior, Informed Consent?" title="Infographic: What is Free, Prior, Informed Consent?" height="17383" width="5233" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/free-prior-informed-consent-infographic.png" /></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>4 critical ways oil, gas, and mining companies must support local community rights</h2></div> Wed, 22 Jul 2015 23:05:00 +0000 Guest Blogger 27332 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-07-23-4-critical-ways-oil-gas-and-mining-companies-must-support-local-community-rights#comments The first 4 years of Oxfam's GROW Campaign: Keep on growing! http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-07-01-first-4-years-oxfams-grow-campaign-keep-growing <div class="field field-name-body"><p>Four years ago this month, Oxfam’s GROW campaign launched with a rallying cry to “fix the broken food system.” In more than 50 countries, people like you have stood up to governments, banks and the world’s biggest brands – and won. None of this would have been possible without your support!</p> <iframe width="100%" height="383" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NkEv1UlsMgc?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p><strong>But the fight isn’t over.</strong> GROW will continue to challenge the injustice of a system that means nearly 800,000,000 people still go hungry.  All over the world, in countries South and North, we’ll be working with others fighting hunger and climate change. This means facing head-on the powerful, filthy fossil fuel industry. Across Africa, and the developing world, we will stand alongside women, who produce our food to call for more support for them to <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/15-03-08-celebrating-female-climate-change-fighters">fight climate change</a>. Everywhere, we are holding the world's biggest food companies to account for their part in the climate story.</p> <p><a href="http://oxf.am/ZdsQ"><strong>Join our call to African leaders to support women food producers coping with climate change.</strong></a></p> <p><u>Here’s just some of the highlights of the last four years:</u></p> <p><strong>We've exposed human rights abuses: </strong>Just last month we helped to secure a new World Bank safeguard on land rights and won <a href="http://www.oxfamamerica.org/take-action/campaign/food-farming-and-hunger/land-freeze/">sweeping reforms</a> to how the Bank’s private sector lending arm operates. We've won back <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/tags/polochic-valley">land and compensation</a> for communities in South Sudan, Guatemala and Uganda, and the fight continues in Indonesia and <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2014-01-10/world-bank-funding-company-implicated-human-rights-abuses">Honduras</a>.</p> <p><strong>We’ve changed the law: </strong>We helped people in India and Peru to demand that their governments give their families enough nutritious food, through <a href="http://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2014/01/hope-for-food-security-found-in-peru/">successful campaigns</a> for stronger right to food laws.</p> <p><strong>We’ve pressured the <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/behind-brands">world’s biggest brands</a> to do the right thing: </strong>5 global brands including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Africa’s biggest sugar producer (Ilovo) have committed to <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/14-03-18-pepsico-takes-stand-land-rights">zero tolerance of land grabs</a> in their supply chains. We’ve secured industry-leading commitments by 3 companies to tackle gender inequality in their cocoa supply chains, and commitments by 2 others to set targets for emissions cuts including from their supply chains - a first not just in the food sector but in any private sector industry.</p> <p><strong>We’ve pushed African governments beyond their comfort zone:</strong> We helped achieved major new commitments on agriculture and food security in Africa, after 2 million Africans <a href="http://www.one.org/africa/blog/good-news-au-leaders-summit-in-malabo-pledge-to-do-agric/">signed a petition</a> pushing for more money for small-scale farming. Ministers agreed to a new Regional Food Reserve for West Africa, and set bold new targets at the African Union to end hunger and halve poverty by 2025.</p> <p><strong>We’ve hammered the financial sector:</strong> Working with allies, we won hard <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/reactions/eu-deal-curbing-food-speculation-comes-none-too-soon">limits on speculation</a> on food commodities in the EU, immediate reforms to speculation on food prices by nine <a href="http://www.oxfamfrance.org/actualites/marches-agricoles-et-prix-alimentaires/speculation-agricole-loi-enfin-appliquee">European banks</a>, and strong commitments on land rights from Australia’s biggest banks.</p> <p><strong>We’ve turned the heat up on governments on climate change</strong>, winning a commitment to allocate 50% of Green Climate Funds to help people adapt, and a really strong focus on gender.</p> <p><strong>We’ve put women farmers on prime time TV:</strong>  Our competition searching for <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/12-07-24-female-food-heroes-2012-competition-launches-tanzania">‘female food heroes’</a> in Tanzania was turned into a daily reality TV show seen by millions of people. We’ve also celebrated the amazing achievements of women farmers in Armenia, <a href="http://www.oxfamblogs.org/eastafrica/?p=5545">Ethiopia</a>, <a href="http://www.oxfam.ca/grow/female-food-heroes">Canada</a>, <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/countries/empowering-women-nigeria">Nigeria</a>, Georgia, Bolivia and Russia.</p> <p><strong>We’ve built a movement:</strong> whether touring with <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KDBF0sX5QE">Coldplay</a>, talking to people about food through the <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/oxfamgrowmethod/">GROW Method</a>, or marching in the <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/14-09-26-peoples-climate-march-around-world-pictures-biggest-climate-mobilisation-ever">biggest ever climate mobilizations</a>, we’ve helped to grow a worldwide movement of people and organizations fighting hunger.</p> <h3>What you can do now</h3> <p><a href="http://oxf.am/ZdsQ"><strong>Join our call to African leaders to support women food producers coping with climate change.</strong></a></p> </div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>The first 4 years of Oxfam&#039;s GROW Campaign: Keep on growing!</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_es first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/15-07-01-los-primeros-cuatro-a%C3%B1os-de-crece-%C2%A1sigamos-creciendo" title="Los primeros cuatro años de CRECE: ¡sigamos creciendo!" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> <li class="translation_fr last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/15-07-01-la-campagne-cultivons-quatre-ans-et-ca-continue" title="La campagne CULTIVONS : quatre ans et ça continue !" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> </ul> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 09:28:27 +0000 Rashmi Mistry 27227 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-07-01-first-4-years-oxfams-grow-campaign-keep-growing#comments Will businesses ‘Walk the Walk’ and “Talk the Walk” on the Road to Paris? http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-05-19-will-businesses-walk-and-talk-road-to-paris-climate <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Business leaders meeting in Paris have the power to show they will listen to those who are least to blame yet most affected by climate change, like Anastacia from Mozambique </strong>(pictured above)<strong>. She told Oxfam that the temperature is changing and there are more extreme changes in the rainy and dry seasons where she lives. Rainy seasons are getting longer and the dry seasons shorter.</strong></p> <h3>Will companies actually stand up and make broad commitments at the Business &amp; Climate Summit in Paris this week?</h3> <p>This year is crucial when it comes to tackling climate change as world leaders will be meeting in Paris in December to negotiate how those emitting the most carbon will stand by those that are most vulnerable to climate change. In the lead up to those negotiations, major multi-national companies will come together this week to discuss climate change at a Business Summit in Paris. The Business &amp; Climate Summit “provides a unique forum for business and government leaders to demonstrate bold action, adopt forward-looking strategies and call for ambitious policies that will allow us to scale up solutions,” according to its website. But will companies actually stand up and make broad commitments?</p> <p><strong>It is more urgent than ever</strong> for business to make it clear to governments that it is in the commercial interests of many of them particularly the food and beverage sector, as well as the in the interests of those living in poverty and the planet itself, to make ambitious commitments. Last year, Oxfam called on food and beverage companies to <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/bp186-standing-sidelines-big10-climate-emissions-200514-en_2.pdf" rel="nofollow">step off the sidelines</a> and start playing ball when it comes to climate change. After all, this sector is at extreme risk of climate impacts. Every day there is news of how climate change is wreaking havoc on our food like <a href="http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/05/04/climatechange-tea-india-idINKBN0NP1YW20150504" rel="nofollow">tea</a>, <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168192315000830" rel="nofollow">coffee</a>, <a href="http://www.salon.com/2014/11/20/why_climate_change_could_mean_the_end_of_chocolate_partner/" rel="nofollow">cocoa</a>, <a href="http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err175.aspx" rel="nofollow">dairy</a>, <a href="http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/02/filipino-fight-against-climate-change-201421613573434853.html" rel="nofollow">coconuts</a>, and <a href="http://www.ibtimes.com/climate-change-food-security-global-banana-market-feeling-strain-hotter-weather-1854296" rel="nofollow">bananas</a>, to name a few. Recently I met a dairy farmer in Kenya, Rose, she told me “the weather has changed tremendously. This place used to have plenty of rain. Almost throughout the year we had rain here. There was no problem with fodder.” In one of the droughts she lost 2 of her 5 cows. Dairy farming was how she supported her family.</p> <p>The irony is that the way we grow our food also contributes to climate change. Two companies – <a href="http://www.behindthebrands.org/en-us/campaign-news/climate-roadmap" rel="nofollow">General Mills and Kellogg</a> – took up our challenge last year to reduce their agricultural emissions across their supply chains but some are still standing on the sidelines.</p> <p><strong>But reducing their emissions is only one step towards the Road to Paris.</strong> The second step must be supporting the farmers like Rose that not only take on the climate risks of the food sector in a disproportionate way, but reap the <a href="http://www.cocoabarometer.org/Download_files/Cocoa%20Barometer%202015.pdf" rel="nofollow">least amount</a> from the prices of the commodities they grow. Economic resilience is a key part of the equation for reducing farmer vulnerability to climate impacts, but companies must also accelerate the sharing and investing in innovations related to adaptation strategies for those farmers.</p> <p>Finally, once they have credibly “walked the walk”, food and beverage companies need to “talk the walk” – by sounding the alarm for the future of food security and for their own survival. This includes being a public champion and a strong advocate toward key national governments for a fair and binding climate treaty in Paris, robust financing for adaptation and calling out other industries, including the fossil fuel sector, to stop blocking any efforts towards these accomplishments. Some of the food and beverage companies have been leaders on this front and have been the driving force behind statements made coalitions such as <a href="http://www.ceres.org/bicep" rel="nofollow">BICEP</a>, <a href="http://www.wemeanbusinesscoalition.org/" rel="nofollow">We Mean Business</a> and the <a href="http://www.theconsumergoodsforum.com/" rel="nofollow">Consumer Goods Forum</a>, but more can be done by those leaders and the laggards must catch up.</p> <p>So will the food and beverage companies step up and make some concrete commitments? Look out for our next blog to find out.</p> <p><em>This entry posted by Irit Tamir, Senior Campaigns and Advocacy Advisor, Private Sector, Oxfam America, on 19 May 2015. Photo: Anastacia Antonia, Farmer, Mozambique. 22 years old. Credit: Mario Macilau/Oxfam</em></p> <h3>What you can do now</h3> <p><a href="http://www.behindthebrands.org/en/take-action" rel="nofollow"><strong>Make your voice heard - push your favorite brand to act on climate change</strong></a></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/15-03-31-battle-brands-annual-scorecard-update"><strong>Battle of the Brands: The Annual Scorecard Update</strong></a></p> <p><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/15-01-19-inequality-climate-change-defining-challenges-2015"><strong>Rising inequality and climate change: The defining challenges for global leaders in 2015</strong></a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Will businesses ‘Walk the Walk’ and “Talk the Walk” on the Road to Paris?</h2></div> Tue, 19 May 2015 11:19:01 +0000 Irit Tamir 26776 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-05-19-will-businesses-walk-and-talk-road-to-paris-climate#comments