Africa is so rich in farmland – so why is it still hungry?

Anthony Kamande Agriculture, Food & livelihoods, Food security

Farmers who can’t afford fertiliser or pesticides will never feed themselves – or our continent, say Anthony Kamande and Dailes Judge. That means, alongside action on climate change, conflict and market reforms, leaders and policymakers at this week’s African Union meeting must address massive under-investment in agriculture

Tesco commitment on living wages for banana producers is a welcome development

Radhika Sarin Agriculture, Food & livelihoods, Living wage

Work should lift people out of poverty but far too often wages and incomes are systematically too low for a decent standard of living. Oxfam’s Behind the Barcodes campaign shines a spotlight on the conditions of the women and men who work to produce the food we buy from our supermarkets. These workers who are at the bottom of global …

Shabana’s Garden of Happiness

Kazi Rabeya Ame Agriculture, Climate Change, Food & livelihoods, Women's Economic Empowerment

by Kazi Rabeya Ame and Munir Hossain Shabana Begum, a young woman from Kurigram district located in the northern Bangladesh was married off when she was just 14 years old. Her husband was daily wager and used to work for others’ farm land. Her husband was the only earning member in the family and the money he earned was insufficient …

3 steps to linking farmer livelihoods with business benefits

Alastair Stewart Food & livelihoods, Private sector

Often, livelihoods projects in smallholder-based supply chains – such as tea or cocoa – aim to create solutions that benefit all links in the chain: by addressing a challenge in the supply chain (e.g. crop productivity or quality) the projects aim to improve conditions for smallholder farmers (e.g. increased income) as well as for the buyers and commercial partners (e.g. improved quality or security of supply). But demonstrating this ‘win-win’ can be challenging as monitoring and evaluation systems need to be designed in a way that captures the benefits …

The Food Fight Continues

Irit Tamir Food & livelihoods, Private sector

In 2013 Oxfam launched the Behind the Brands campaign which sought to influence the sourcing policies of the world’s ten biggest food and beverage companies. Over the three years, the campaign achieved a series of significant wins; catalyzing company commitments on land rights, women’s empowerment and climate change while mobilizing a significant number of supporters in the process.   While the campaign itself ended in 2016, the work …

Working with companies on women’s economic empowerment in value chains

Ulrike Joras Agriculture, Food & livelihoods, Women's Economic Empowerment

Salimata Kone (pictured) is a cocoa farmer and lives with her husband and children near Divo, a city in southern Côte d’Ivoire. She took part in a project to improve her family income and financial resilience through crop diversification, producing other crops alongside her cocoa harvest. Through the project, Salimata not only managed to increase her family’s income by harvesting more than 450kg of …

Three promises Lidl has made to protect its food workers

Rachel Wilshaw Food & livelihoods, Private sector

Supermarkets have become one of the few vital services still functioning during the global Coronavirus pandemic. Supermarket staff deserve great respect for keeping customers safe and supplied with food to sustain us through this unprecedented crisis. But there is another group of frontline food workers doing the same, hidden from view, those who produce the products we are all trying …

What are supermarkets doing to tackle human suffering in their supply chains?

Monica Romis Food & livelihoods, Gender, Inequality, Livelihoods, Living wage, Private sector, Rights

Last year, Oxfam embarked on a campaign asking 16 supermarkets to take responsibility for ending human suffering in their food supply chains. A year on, Monica Romis asks, what has changed?   Slow progress to respect human rights   The 2019 Supermarket Scorecard shows that, while some are doing better than others, all supermarkets lack sufficient policies to properly protect the people who produce our food. No supermarket does even 40% of what the Oxfam benchmark asks them to.   Eight of the 16 companies, including Lidl, Plus and Whole …

5 lessons learned on how to conduct a Human Rights Impact Assessment

Tim Gore Food & livelihoods, Private sector

Oxfam recently conducted a Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) with Finland’s biggest supermarket. Tim Gore shares more. Human rights abuses are widespread in global food supply chains – from forced labour on fishing vessels in southeast Asia, to poverty wages on Indian tea estates, and exposure to dangerous chemicals on banana plantations in central America. Supermarkets are the powerful last …

Are supermarket canned tomatoes now free from labour exploitation?

Tim Gore Agriculture, Food & livelihoods, Inequality, Livelihoods, Private sector, Rights

Tim Gore shares three key findings from Oxfam’s human rights impact assessment of the Italian processed tomato sector. There have been a range of media and NGO reports in recent years about endemic labour exploitation in the Italian tomato sector. But as Oxfam’s The People Behind the Prices, shows, while some progress has been made, many of the root causes …