Lobbying: the art of the possible - Women on Farms
LOBBYING: A CASE STUDY AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL Women on Farms Project Oxfam Link & Learn 15 November 2012
I. Background • Tesco is the biggest supermarket in UK and biggest purchaser of South African fruit • Tesco claims that it sources all its produce from “ethical suppliers” throughout the world • WFP repeatedly reported labour rights violations on Tesco-supplying farms to Tesco • WFP dismissed/ ignored WFP’s reports • Tesco asked WFP for farm workers’ names.
II. The Issue? • Tesco to ensure that Tesco- supplying farms comply with labour laws • Tesco to ensure that all its supplying farms sign up to WIETA farm audits
III. Lobby Target? • Main target: Tesco UK Power to exert pressure on farmers Thereby, effect improvements across hundreds of farms • Other targets: UK NGO, ActionAid-UK Trade union, Sikhula Sonke Farm workers UK consumers
IV. Strategy & Tactics • Farm worker, Gertruida Baartman, volunteered to “go public” on labour conditions on a Tesco farm • ActionAid-UK bought 3 shares in Tesco (6p =78c each!) • Gertruida attended Tesco AGM in London as a Tesco shareholder • Massive media coverage in UK: before and during the AGM • Gertruida spoke of her own experiences as a seasonal farm worker on a Tesco-supplying farm • Outcome: Tesco Chairperson met with WFP/SS and Gertruida • All Tesco-supplying farms were to be audited / inspected.
V. Lessons & Tips • Garner support and cooperation from many like-minded partners • Let affected people to speak for themselves • Use media effectively throughout • Articulate a message that is incontrovertibly moral and just • Identify target’s “weak spot” – hit them where they will feel it most • Employ a “device” that grabs attention, inspires, galvanises.