Online Program

People, planet or profit? the impact of food and beverages companies on the environment, human rights and public health

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Raymond Offenheiser, Oxfam America, Boston, MA
Over the past century, food and beverage companies have enjoyed unprecedented commercial success. But these companies have grown prosperous while the millions who supply the land, labor and water for their products face increasing hardship, food insecurity and poor health outcomes. Now, in a rapidly changing environment, affected communities and an increasingly savvy consumer base are pushing the industry to rethink “business as usual.” And the public health community has a critical role to play.

The Private Sector and The Global Food System: we will begin with an exploration of the global food system and the key role the private sector plays in the choices consumers have at the grocery store and the opportunities communities have at the bottom of the supply chain.

Food Justice Scorecard: we will then 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 that are implicitly tied to health outcomes: climate change, land use, water use; the rights of women, farm workers and small holder farmers; and transparency. We will delve into the methodology, and the roles and responsibility companies have in building a better food system and ensuring food security.

Public Health Community's Role: we will wrap up with an analysis the public health community's role in advocating for people and planet, from corporate engagement and making the business case for sustainability and public health, to public campaigning to pressure companies to focus on people, planet and profit.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the role food and beverage companies and other private sector actors play in the global food system. Discuss the impact food and beverage companies have on key environmental and human rights indicators, and the impact on health and food security. Identify ways the public health community can use their expertise and voice to challenge companies to rethink business as usual in the food system.

Keyword(s): Advocacy, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am President of Oxfam America, a non-profit international development and relief agency and the U.S. affiliate of the Oxfam International confederation. Oxfam works to end global poverty through saving lives, strengthening communities and campaigning for change. Since Ray joined Boston-based Oxfam America in 1995, the organization has grown more than sevenfold and become a leader in the US on a broad array of public policy issues from international development, to human rights and environment.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Oxfam America Public Policy President

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.