Topic: food and agriculture

What’s the the best/worst country in which to feed your family? New Oxfam report.

Oxfam researcher and ace number cruncher Deborah Hardoon introduces its new Good Enough to Eat index. Many of us will have overindulged this festive season. According to the British Diatetics Association, the average Brit puts on half a stone at Christmas. And it is not just Christmas Day itself, ‘the whole festive season is riddled […]

Read More »

Obesity, Diabetes, Cancer: welcome to a new generation of ‘development issues’

I failed miserably to stop myself browsing my various feeds over the Christmas break (New Year’s resolution: ‘browse less, produce more’ – destined for failure). One theme that emerged was the rise of the ‘North in the South’ on health – what I call Cinderella Issues. Things like road traffic accidents, the illegal drug trade, […]

Read More »

Big food companies are moving from charity to rights. With one exception – Associated British Foods

Erinch Sahan (right), a private sector policy advisor at Oxfam GB, brings us up to date with the Behind the Brands campaign, and one particularly recalcitrant company. This is a story of a campaign on Big Food. A campaign successful in moving a bunch of companies, but struggling with one in particular. It is a […]

Read More »

Hunger Grains: Are EU policies undermining progress on development?

An earlier version of this piece appeared in the October issue of the Government Gazette Today we fear EU ambassadors will agree a really bad deal on EU biofuel reform. In 2009 EU governments agreed that by 2020 10% of the energy used in transport would have to come from renewable sources. This target will […]

Read More »

Transform or be Haunted by Ghosts: How can the Philippines ‘build back better’ after Typhoon Haiyan?

From the middle of the response to Typhoon Haiyan, Lan Mercado, our Deputy Regional Director in Asia (and passionate campaigner and Filipina) reflects on what lies ahead. She was the one who asked me to pick your brains on disasters as opportunities – thanks for the responses. The massive impact of Typhoon Haiyan claimed thousands […]

Read More »

Impressive progress in guaranteeing the right to food in poor countries (Olivier de Schutter’s final big report to the UNGA)

UN Special Rapporteurs are independent experts, appointed (but not paid, I think) by the UN to beaver away to raise important issues such as disability, indigenous peoples, or torture. They include some bright stars – important thought leaders on the international development stage such as Magdalena Sepulveda, UNSR on extreme poverty and human rights. But […]

Read More »

Aid’s segmented future

This piece was written for a blog discussion on the future of aid, which will double up as a Global Policy ebook, organized by Andy Sumner’s new outfit, the Kings College International Development Institute, King’s College London. It’s all part of the build up to their launch conference on Emerging Economies and the Changing Global […]

Read More »

Unpacking India’s historic new Food Security law

M. Kumaran, Oxfam India’s food justice program coordinator, unpacks India’s historic new Food Security Act On 2nd September, 2013 the Indian Parliament ushered in a new legally-enforceable regime in India’s struggle against hunger through the historic National Food Security Act 2013. The Act injects more resources into India’s food and nutrition programmes and establishes an […]

Read More »

Climate Change looks a lot worse when you look below the averages and the global: the view from Pakistan

John Magrath from Oxfam’s research team compares the impact of climate change in Pakistan with the messages coming out of the IPCC’s latestreports. I blogged last week how one effect of climate change is likely to be to make it harder for people to afford to buy the food they need, which may be a bigger […]

Read More »

Are wages the fly in the Fairtrade ointment?

Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the Fairtrade Foundation, (Oxfam was one of its founders) and there will be lots of well-merited celebrations. The growth of fair-trade has been phenomenal. In the UK total sales of Fairtrade products have soared from £63m in 2002, to £1530m last year, growing at double digit rates […]

Read More »

How empowerment happens: devolving management to local people in Vietnam and Pakistan

Another one of the fascinating case studies dug up by Sophie King for my recent UN paper on ‘The Role of the State in Empowering Poor and Excluded Groups and Individuals’. This one looks at two examples of devolution that seem to work Devolving forest management to local people, Dak Lak, Vietnam This is from […]

Read More »

The End of Cheap Rice: Good News or Catastrophe?

Are high food prices here to stay, and if so are they a Good Thing (producers benefit) or a Bad Thing (consumers go hungry)? These are the questions explored by a thought-provoking and very even-handed new paper (only 5 pages) from the ODI on the ‘end of cheap rice’. From the Summary: “After more than […]

Read More »