Behind the Brands - why I'm taking action

Posted by Sara Cowan Campaigns and Activism Co-ordinator

4th Nov 2013

A friend recently asked me, what are you boycotting now? I hadn't realised, but since our school days my acts of consumer power were being quietly watched by friends.

My work with Oxfam over the last few years has focused my attention even more on the choices I make. I want the things I buy to be part of a positive system, be it in the food or clothing chain.

Everyday we're making choices that affect thousands of people around the world. You and I make choices that are felt from Cambodia to Brazil to the farmer down the road.

That gives us a lot of power. That gives us the power to ask for change.

It therefore concerns me to think that I could be helping to push people off the land they rely on by buying a can of Coke, or Pepsi, or by taking sugar in my tea. I don't believe people should be made to suffer in this way as a result of our growing demand for sugar.

The Behind the Brands campaign isn't calling for boycotts, but it can help us harness our power. By acting together we can help ensure companies put in place the policies and processes needed to protect communities. We can get the big global companies to sit up and listen. But we need to work together to unlock our power.

Watch the Behind the Brands video here.

Mars, Nestle and Mandelez have already agree to improve the way they treat women cocoa farmers in their supply chain. If we join together again, we can achieve even more change. 

We can ensure companies hear the voices of us, the consumers. They need to know that if they want our money they must act in a way that respects all those involved in producing the products we eat or drink daily.

Blog post written by Sara Cowan

Campaigns and Activism Co-ordinator

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