‘Make us feel uncomfortable…’ Three tips from Paul Polman on how charities should work with business

Claudia Codsi Influencing, Private sector

Business leader and campaigner Paul Polman has long been a proponent of the idea that business should be a force for good. Today, he says people in organisations campaigning for change must seize the chance to connect with a new generation of ‘Greta Thunbergs in every company’ to help drive social impact. Claudia Codsi reports back on his recent talk to Oxfam staff

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 …

What did Oxfam learn from talking to workers in food and footwear factories supplying M&S?

Rachel Wilshaw Private sector, Rights

In 2017 M&S asked Oxfam to carry out a ‘gap analysis’ study to ‘better understand the true worker experience and identify the changes we need to make in our own operations and those of our suppliers’ similar to another undertaken by Oxfam together with Unilever. For Oxfam, the project provided a rare opportunity to hear people’s experience of working in food and footwear factories which supply M&S and other retailers.  M&S and Oxfam set …

The value of partnership in boosting ambitious corporate commitments

Elen Newcombe-Ling Livelihoods, Private sector

The need for bold commitment and action from the private sector The private sector – whether global multinationals or local businesses – has a huge impact on livelihoods and living conditions worldwide. But all too often, the actions (or inactions) of private sector actors can reinforce the systems that trap people in poverty. We urgently need fairer business models that …

Which supermarkets are doing the most to protect the rights of food workers?

Rosa Polaschek Private sector

As the Coronavirus pandemic drives home the importance of the frontline workers producing and supplying our food, Oxfam’s Behind the Barcodes campaign to improve the conditions of people in supermarket supply chains is more relevant than ever. And yet, the 2020 Supermarket Scorecard highlights that no supermarket is doing enough to combat human suffering in those supply chains, despite progress …

Coronavirus is jeopardizing the incomes of small-scale farmers

Uwe Gneiting Agriculture, Private sector

Why now is the time for companies to step up to their commitment to higher farmer incomes. In this unprecedented time full of uncertainty, two things are clear. First, the Coronavirus pandemic is not only a global health but also an economic crisis. Second, the pandemic disproportionately harms the most vulnerable groups. As a result, up to half a billion …