Joe Bardwell, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Workers and small farmers should put their tin helmets on in response to Tesco and Carrefour’s announcement that they would forming a ‘strategic alliance’ to cover joint purchasing for their own brand products. The Tesco and Carrefour alliance is not of two relatively small players joining up to take on larger competition; these are the two largest supermarkets in Europe.
Tesco scored 42/100 and Carrefour 21/100 in the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, a ranking of the companies’ policy and performance in respecting human rights in their supply chains and operations according to Business and human rights resource centre.
For decades food sales in developed and emerging economies have increasingly concentrated to just a few large players tightening their grip on supply chains. Increasing power of just a few supermarkets comes at the cost of declining power of small-scale farmers and workers in supply chains. Workers in those supply chains, the majority of them women and often migrants, who pick the fruit and vegetable and cut the flowers rarely share the benefits.