5 Lessons from Working with Businesses to Support Workers around the World

May 23, 2018
This piece appeared on ETI’s May ‘Leadership Series’ blog yesterday I was present at the birth of ETI 20 years ago. Recently installed at the Catholic aid agency, CAFOD, I was sent off to discuss an obscure initiative to set up a ‘Monitoring and Verification Working Group’ for companies trying to assess labour standards in their supply chains. I was impressed

How can campaigners influence the private sector? 4 lessons from the Behind the Brands campaign on Big Food

May 20, 2016
Oxfam private sector researcher/evaluation adviser Uwe Gneiting reflects on 3 years of a campaign to change thebehavior of Big Food Last month we marked the third anniversary of the Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign with a new briefing paper that included an updated scorecard of the world’s ten largest food and beverage companies’ sustainability policies. As an evaluator looking at

How does Change Happen in global commodities markets? The case of Palm Oil

August 4, 2015
This week’s Economist had an interesting discussion of the change process in the global palm oil industry. I assume all its claims are highly contested, but still, allow me to walk you through it and what it says about how change happens in one bit of the private sector. The basics: a boom industry with a dire track record of deforestation,

How businesses can save the world (when their shareholders aren’t breathing down their neck)

April 9, 2015
Erinch Sahan, an Oxfam ag and supply chain wonk who is currently leading its Food & Climate Policy and Campaigns, argues that the best way to understand a company’s approach to doing good is by asking who owns it. When it comes to the private sector, the biggest mistake the aid world makes is to see business as a homogeneous

Is India breaking new ground by requiring corporates to spend 2% of company profits on CSR?

December 2, 2013
This is a joint post with Avinash Kumar (right), Oxfam India’s Policy, Research & Campaigns Director Corporate responsibility in India is getting interesting – an unheralded aspect of the growth of its business sector. Recent legislation requires public sector enterprises to make social responsibility and stakeholder engagement part of their core business practices, while in July, 2011, the Ministry of

Attack? Equivocate? Engage? How Big Food responds to a tough new campaign

March 6, 2013
Chris Jochnick, director of Oxfam America’s Private Sector Department (twitter: @cjochnick), reflects on the different corporate responses to our ‘Behind the Brands’ campaign launch Companies have had decades to hone their engagement strategies with activists, but still struggle to find the right approach.  Initial reactions to Oxfam’s Behind the Brand campaign offer an interesting case in point.  The campaign is only

Corporate responsibility: how can you tell substance from spin?

June 6, 2012