Oxfam’s on a mission. A mission to change the way companies that make your favourite brands do business.
We’ve been working behind-the-scenes for 18 months, digging in to how the food firms say they do business. Using the results, we’ve created a simple scorecard to compare their policies and commitments, as a way of judging companies’ performance. And, across the board, we discovered that they need to do more – a whole lot more – to support poor farmers, their families and the planet.
No brand is so big it can ignore its customers, and that’s where you come in. These companies may have a lot of power – but you have more – and we want you to use yours to change the way they do business.
We know you already think hard about what you buy, so we’re not asking you to feel guilty about it. Instead, push for change. Use Facebook and Twitter to nudge your favourite brands. Contact the CEO personally and tell them what needs to change. We’ll be constantly updating the scorecard so you can see the impact you’re having.
Our first big action is to encourage big chocolate companies to make equality for women cocoa farmers a priority. Companies often put women front and center in their advertising, but not in their supply chains. You can change that.
CAPTION: Left: Jumoke Popoole, a female cocoa farmer, stands outside her house in Oke AgbedeOke. Top-right: Cocoa beans dried on the ground in the village of Oke Agbede Isale near the Osun state town of Ilesa, Westen Nigeria. Bottom-right: Sade Rafiu, a female cocoa farmer and a local cocoa dealer, checks dried cocoa beans waiting to be sold in her store house in the village of Oke Agbede Isale near the Osun state town of Ilesa, Westen Nigeria. Many women farmers in southwest Nigeria cultivate cocoa beans used by major global food and beverage companies. Photos: George Osodi/Panos
It’s not only the food companies. There are others too. Like the traders who supply them. And the governments who have a big role to play to smash hunger rates, poverty levels and inequality. The Big 10 food companies have the power to push them to do better. But first, they have to fix the way they themselves do business, which often makes these things worse – leaving one in eight of us going to bed hungry every night.
If you think you can’t change the food system, you really need to think again. You’re more powerful than any of the Big 10. Without you, they won’t stay big for long.