News • 18.10.2019

Human rights in the food supply chains

Oxfam’s "Behind the Barcodes" campaign examine the policies and practices that affect workers and farmers

Two farmers with hats on and baskets on their back working in a field,...
Source: Bildagentur PantherMedia / thuhuyen

Food workers on farms and plantations that supply tea, fruit and vegetables to supermarkets continue to face human rights abuses, says Oxfam.

The latest research from Oxfam’s Behind the Barcodes Campaign shows how top supermarkets’ relentless drive to cut costs and maximize profits is continuing to fuel poverty pay and worker abuse in their supply chains. 

“Supermarkets can no longer avoid the mounting evidence of human suffering behind the products they sell.,” said Sarah Zoen, Oxfam America’s Senior Advisor for Private Sector Engagement. In North Carolina, workers on sweet potato farms reported working up to 14 hours a day in oppressive heat with few rest breaks and often limited access to toilets. Many say they are paid low wages and are too scared to speak out for fear of losing their jobs.

“Many workers don’t do anything because they are afraid they will not be brought back next year, for fear of losing their jobs,” said Pedro, a worker with whom Oxfam spoke. Another worker, Arturo, said simply that he was afraid of “dying in the fields because of the heat or getting injured.”

“The abuse of workers in the food industry is not confined to a few problematic products or a few troublesome locations, but is instead systemic across our entire food system,” continued Zoen. “Our food system is built on big supermarkets squeezing suppliers to cut down costs, increasing poverty, hunger, and human rights violations across the supply chain.”

Supermarkets are under increasing pressure from shoppers and investors to act. This includes a statement from 50 global investors with assets worth more than $3 trillion today calling on supermarkets to publish information on where they source their products and to tackle human rights abuse in their supply chains.

Oxfam’s Behind the Barcodes campaign was launched last year to examine the policies and practices that affect workers and farmers in the food supply chains of some of the biggest and fastest growing supermarkets in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the US. In the US, Oxfam looked at six of its biggest and growing supermarkets. More than 200,000 consumers last year put top US supermarkets on notice to change their ways and our latest Supermarket Scorecard update shows that some supermarkets are starting to make changes.

“Progress has been slow and no supermarket is doing anywhere near enough to protect the rights of the people who produce our food or to treat women fairly,” concluded Zoen.

Source: Oxfam

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: A splash of lime for your returns management...
01.01.2021   #online trading #customer satisfaction

A splash of lime for your returns management

Our webtalk "retail salsa" at 4:00 pm on 2021/01/27

Cross-order e-commerce continues to boom and is no longer on the margins. Due to Corona Pandemic, but also due to action days such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, the quantity of parcels is going through the roof and so is the return rate. Too ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Local shops are lifelines for communities across Wales...
21.12.2020   #coronavirus #marketing

Local shops are lifelines for communities across Wales

ACS report shows vital role of convenience stores during pandemic

ACS’ ‘2021 Welsh Local Shop Report‘ has revealed the vital role that convenience stores play in the lives of customers and communities across Wales, particularly to those who may be more isolated or vulnerable.Findings from the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Social commerce opportunities on TikTok for merchants...
31.10.2020   #online trading #social media

Social commerce opportunities on TikTok for merchants

Partnership between Shopify and TikTok

On TikTok, businesses of all sizes are empowered to grow their brands through creative content and storytelling. Since we launched the TikTok For Business platform, we've seen brands around the world make real connections with our users by ...

Thumbnail-Photo: iXtenso newsletter – Never miss a story!
01.02.2021  

iXtenso newsletter – Never miss a story!

Always the latest retail news delivered directly to your inbox – every two weeks

Thumbnail-Photo: Consumer packaged goods purchases grew 19% in 2020...
27.01.2021   #coronavirus #customer retention

Consumer packaged goods purchases grew 19% in 2020

Fueled by the pandemic, half of Americans tried new brands

As consumers hunkered down at home during most of last year, their spending on consumer packaged goods (CPG) grew an average of 19% in 2020 compared to 2019 according to the latest data from NCSolutions. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Instacart hires former Facebook Vice President of Product...
08.02.2021   #e-commerce #social media

Instacart hires former Facebook Vice President of Product

Asha Sharma as new Chief Operating Officer

Instacart’s goal is to look more holistically at the end-to-end customer experience and better operationalize it across the company. To help achieve that, they’re welcoming an operator and entrepreneurial product leader in Asha Sharma to ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Theyre just not that into you
05.02.2021   #customer relationship management #marketing

They're just not that into you

Consumer-brand relationship insights for marketers and brand communication

Researchers from Western University, Indiana University, and Washington State University published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that deals with communication strategies towards consumers that have a certain connection to a brand.The ...

Thumbnail-Photo: How the industry thinks: The most important trends for 2021...
05.01.2021   #brick and mortar retail #digitization

How the industry thinks: The most important trends for 2021

What awaits retailers after the first Corona year?

2020 – most certainly not an easy year. But many agree: The only way forward is to look ahead. So we asked industry insiders – retailers, academics, manufacturers – what they expect for this year. How will changing customer ...

Thumbnail-Photo: UK retailers still need to prepare for Brexit...
06.01.2021   #online trading #e-commerce

UK retailers still need to prepare for Brexit

Distribution, inventory, and customer satisfaction are main concerns

A new survey of UK online and omnichannel retailers conducted by PFS, the operations business unit of PFSweb, Inc., reveals that the majority of retailers are yet to adequately prepare themselves for the end of the Brexit transition period. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Fashion out of waste
04.12.2020   #sustainability #fashion

Fashion out of waste

H&M collection for upcycling

H&M Conscious Exclusive A/W20 collection introduces exquisite pieces crafted from sustainably sourced materials made from waste. What is normally thrown away is purposefully transformed into treasures to be loved and valued, allowing us to ...

Supplier

EuroShop
EuroShop
Stockumer Kirchstraße 61
40474 Düsseldorf
Seven Senders GmbH
Schwedter Straße 36 A
10435 Berlin
iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
Celsiusstraße 43
53125 Bonn