Oxfam reports that America’s second largest food retailer, Kroger, has published an updated Statement on Human Rights.
In 2020, Oxfam filed a shareholder resolution with Kroger, and a surprising 45 per cent of shareholders voted to support efforts to conduct Human Rights Due Diligence.
Oxfam re-filed this year to keep the pressure on the company. With the updated Statement on Human Rights, Oxfam withdrew its shareholder resolution.
Kroger’s steps align with Oxfam’s recommendations on workers’ rights to supermarkets. Art Prapha, who co-leads Oxfam’s global supermarket campaign, Behind the Barcodes, writes, “We commend the company for committing to improve the livelihoods of workers, families, and communities around the world.
“When our campaign launched in 2018, the company scored poorly across workers’ rights, small-scale farmers, supply chain transparency, and gender equality.
“We would like to see Kroger become one of the world’s leading food retailers that fundamentally shifts its business model to deliver fair share of income to workers and farmers, and actively engage with governments, trade unions, workers’ representatives, and industry peers to protect labor and human rights.
“Oxfam will continue to focus on Kroger and other major supermarkets’ commitments towards ending human rights violations in supply chains. We strongly urge other major US retailers–Walmart, Amazon, Costco, and Albertsons Companies to follow Kroger’s significant first steps and then go further.
“Inequality and human suffering have deepened, as the global economy is being hit by the worst recession since World War II. Workers’ income has fallen, and women have found it tougher to continue working full-time while filling care responsibilities for their families.
“The pandemic has been a bleak year for almost everyone but it also provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the world’s most powerful supermarkets to radically shift their focus. None of us wants human suffering in the food we buy.”