Behind the Brands with Oxfam’s Sophia Lafontant

From by Ricky Angel
Behind the Brands with Oxfam’s Sophia Lafontant

Oxfam’s Sophia Lafontant recently joined Food Tank for an exclusive webinar.

“[I’m] really excited to talk about Behind the Brands,” began Lafontant. She explained that Behind the Brands is a campaign that seeks to hold food and beverage companies accountable.

She said, “Essentially with the campaign we are trying to hold companies accountable. Behind the Brands campaign is about using the power of consumers to create a race to the top.”

“Oxfam spent 18 months, prior to the launch of the campaign back 2013, taking a more close look at how these top 10 food and beverage companies report the way they do business.”

They assessed companies on a scorecard that looked at: land, women, farmers, workers, climate, transparency and water.

One of their first campaigns revolved around women and cocoa. Through research, they found that one-third of all cocoa was sold to just three companies. The world’s coco comes from the region in West Africa. The people who are growing coco mostly live under the poverty line and the majority of those are women.

“When we pay them fairly, we see that communities are able to really flourish and thrive.” They asked these three companies to: look at the way they are treating women, listen to what women have to say about how they are being treated, and act by putting policies in place that will protect women’s right and nurture and promote their skills.

Lafontant emphasized that they are concerned with how people at the bottom of the supply chain are treated as well as the environment and indicators around work and land. Lafontant went on to talk about land grabs, climate mitigation, and more.

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