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30 Jun 2020

Rosa Polaschek, Oxfam

Oxfam benchmark reveals supermarkets not doing enough to combat human rights issues in global supply chains

“Which supermarkets are doing the most to protect the rights of food workers?”, 30 June 2020

Slowly taking responsibility … and not

… [S]even of the 16 companies have barely changed scores since last year’s assessment and five companies still have no women-specific policies at all. A regional pattern is also emerging, with US supermarkets making up three of the five bottom-ranked supermarkets…

Some improvements

… [C]ompanies are doing the best on transparency and accountability measures and workers’ rights. Even in these areas there is room for improvement, with the average score on transparency just 24 per cent, and on workers’ rights, just 27 per cent.

From Commitment to Action

There remain significant gaps between company commitments and their actions to implement them.

Of the six supermarkets publicly committed to helping small-scale farmers organise collectively … only one, Rewe, could point to three examples … [of] specific projects to strengthen farmer co-operatives… 

After a disappointing record on women’s rights previously, this year’s scorecard is more positive. Tesco, Lidl and Morrisons have particularly improved their gender-specific policies… 

... The systemic problems women face in all workplaces are only exacerbated by the inequalities in supermarket supply chains… 

Where Next For Supermarkets?

… No new supermarkets have committed to combatting unfair trading practices in their food supply chains … there has been little progress on the specific challenges faced by women … who are … disproportionately affected by … coronavirus...