Online Program

Food companies and climate change: Roles, responsibilities and rights

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sarah Kalloch, Oxfam America, Boston, MA
For more than 100 years, the world's most powerful food and beverage companies have relied on cheap land and labor to produce inexpensive products and huge profits. But these profits have often come at the cost of the environment and the rights of local communities, and have contributed to a food system in crisis. Food companies must curb massive agricultural greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate changes that are affecting farmers today and may have a major impact on food prices and public health in the future.

Changing Company Policy: This presentation will discuss Oxfam's Food Justice Scorecard, which ranks the top 10 food and beverage companies in the world across seven environmental and human rights indicators: climate change, land use, water use; the rights of women, farm workers and small holder farmers; and transparency. It will delve into the climate change indicator on the scorecard. It will examine companies' knowledge of greenhouse gas emissions throughout their supply chain, and what commitments and supply chain management policies they have—and should have—to reduce emissions and to help communities build their resilience to climate change impacts. It will also highlight ways public health professionals can advocate to companies to improve climate policies.

Changing Consumer Behavior: Consumers also have the power to fight climate change from their kitchen table. The presentation will outline Oxfam's Food Transformation report and corresponding GROW method, which outlines how wasting less food, eating less meat, eating seasonal and local, cooking smarter and supporting smallholder farmers can help reduce climate change while supporting farmers and food security worldwide.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Environmental health sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the impact food and beverage companies and their agricultural supply chains have on climate change. Describe the role public health professionals play in holding food companies accountable for instituting better climate policies. Explain how consumers can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by making small changes in the ways they cook and eat food.

Keyword(s): Climate Change, Food Security

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I work on food and climate policy and advocacy at Oxfam, and have worked to launch both the Food Justice Scorecard and GROW method.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.