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Article

5 Apr 2022

Author:
Oxfam

Oxfam releases 4th scoring of European supermarkets’ global food supply chains

Oxfam has once again assessed some of the largest supermarkets across Europe on their policies and practices in their food supply chains. The supermarkets were assessed on publicly disclosed policies and practices in four key areas: supply chain transparency; conditions for workers; conditions for small-scale farmers; and tackling discrimination against women[…]

The scores reveal that most supermarkets have started to take human rights in their global food supply chains seriously. For instance, at the start of the campaign almost all supermarkets were neglecting the specific needs and challenges faced by women, such as gender-based violence at work, or the burden of unpaid care and domestic work. Today, the scorecard shows welcome signs that this is changing, with increasing awareness of the barriers to fair and equal treatment for women workers and producers, as well as a range of commitments by supermarkets to tackle them.

Oxfam

Yet despite steady progress in such key areas, the food supply chains of all supermarkets on the scorecard remain riddled with accounts of labour rights violations. Across the board, they are struggling to address an underlying root cause of exploitation, which is the inequality of power between their business and the workers and producers in their value chains.

[…] New policies and commitments have the potential to bring about concrete improvements for the lives of workers and farmers, but only if they are embedded within the business model of a company. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is even more important for companies to prioritise human rights at the core of their business operations, and switch to responsible buying practices that protects workers[…]

The fourth scorecard shows a comparison between the scores issued at the beginning of the campaign in 2018, and the latest results of 2022. Oxfam’s full global analysis can be found on their website, with further review into the UK-specific supermarkets on their Views and Voices blog page.

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