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Rebalancing power in global food chains

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This presentation formed part of a webinar that shared and debated experiences of an initiative to tackle challenges in a Kenya-UK green bean supply chain, through which farmers and workers secured a stronger voice and influenced the trading arrangements within a global value chain.

The webinar was organised by the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED) on 19 June 2019 as part of the 'Empowering Producers In Commercial agriculture (EPIC)' project.

The presentation was given by Mary Kambo, from the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC).

More details: https://www.iied.org/empowering-producers-commercial-agriculture-epic

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Rebalancing power in global food chains

  1. 1. REBALANCING POWER IN GLOBAL FOOD CHAINS MARY KAMBO-PROGRAMME ADVISOR-LABOUR RIGHTS KENYA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION 19 JUNE 2019
  2. 2. CONTEXT o This presentation is based on the learnings derived from a three- year project that was implemented in Kenya from 2013-2016. o The project was broadly aimed at: 1) Promoting fair trading practices 2) Rebalancing power in a green bean horticulture supply chain 3) Promoting fairer sharing of risks and benefits along the supply chain
  3. 3. CONTEXT CONT’D o Project Model employed a soft approach to influence change in corporate behaviour through dialogue and partnership. o Project partners included: KHRC, Traidcraft, Flamingo Horticulture (exporter), Marks & Spencer (retailer), farmers and pack-house workers. o Project direct reach: 300 smallholder farmers and 3000 workers in Flamingo Horticulture.
  4. 4. PROJECT OBJECTIVES  Increase the capacity, governance and performance of the worker committees and farmer groups  Enhanced predictability and security of incomes for farmers  Improved livelihoods of small scale farmers and workers  Improved terms and conditions of employment for workers  Improved engagement of all supply chain actors in the supply chain for fairer benefits, risk sharing and respect for human rights
  5. 5. PROJECT ACTIVITIES 1) Capacity strengthening for farmers and workers -Various trainings conducted to enhance the capacity of workers and smallholder farmers to negotiate with the exporter more effectively on terms of trade. 2) Experiential learning -Setting up of demonstration plots across various areas in different seasons to establish the actual cost of production of green beans 3) Exchange visits to foster learning and experience sharing -Farmers visited a cooperative society in a different area to enhance their organising skills -The farmers later registered their own cooperative society to enhance their collective bargaining as well as marketing their produce. -Farmers and workers visited the UK to engage with supply chain actors, share experiences and best practices
  6. 6. 5) Review and strengthening of policies -Workplace policies on grievance handling mechanisms -Review and strengthening of Horticulture Crops Directorate (HCD) code of conduct -Influenced the publishing of the code on the regulator’s website for access by farmers 6) Influenced regulation at the county level -Draft Agrovets Bill for Meru County 6) Ways of Working Meetings and Action List -Unprecedented WoW meetings -All supply chain actors brought to a common negotiation table -Matrix of action points developed and agreed on
  7. 7. CHALLENGES & LESSONS LEARNED 1) WoW document was not legally binding -Good will from all supply chain players required -Some action points in the WoW document still unresolved 2) High cost of convening physical WoW meetings 3) Risk of the race to the bottom by competing exporters 4) Soft approaches to advocacy may not always be adequate. Smart mix of strategies required 5) Fresh produce export business is intricate and riddled with many complexities.
  8. 8. REPLICATION OF LESSONS -The strategies employed in the Kenya Horticulture Project are replicable not just in green bean supply chains but other food chains as well. -The retailer has particularly been keen to continue convening the WoW meetings. A full supply chain meeting took place in Kenya last year. -Other funding partners have opened up conversation with KHRC on possibilities of replicating the WoW meetings in other food chains. -Sustainability is highly dependent on good will from all actors involved, availability of resources and a strong voice for workers and farmers. -Also dependent on leveling of the playing field so that no actor feels more powerful or less powerful than the others.
  9. 9. END THANK YOU

This presentation formed part of a webinar that shared and debated experiences of an initiative to tackle challenges in a Kenya-UK green bean supply chain, through which farmers and workers secured a stronger voice and influenced the trading arrangements within a global value chain. The webinar was organised by the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED) on 19 June 2019 as part of the 'Empowering Producers In Commercial agriculture (EPIC)' project. The presentation was given by Mary Kambo, from the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC). More details: https://www.iied.org/empowering-producers-commercial-agriculture-epic

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