Wednesday 10th of February 2016

in defence of oxfam...


One has to kill in the bud this idiotic rant (24 july 2014) by a conservative writer, Alan Daley, on an ultra conservative US website. These are people with no understanding of anything that does not have the word profit attached to it...:


By Alan Daley

Oxfam International, a UK-based non-profit, changed its mission to ending poverty and injustice. While Oxfam’s historic focus had been ending world hunger, its U.S. affiliate is now campaigning to bite the hands that feed the world most efficiently.

Oxfam America released “Standing on the Sidelines,” in which it names large food companies as complicit in reckless deforestation, nitrous oxide releases, and other harmful production practices that cause global warming. Oxfam names Associated British Foods, Coca-Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelez International, Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Unilever as the “Big 10.” Oxfam finds these companies guilty of excessive greenhouse gas emissions released both directly and indirectly through others in their agricultural supply chain.

In 2012, The European Union, US, Australia and Canada produced 253 million metric tons of wheat. These are the main locations of the “Big 10” and their supply chains. Oxfam wants the Big 10 to alter their production and supply chain operations by 2020. Oxfam claims that by using so called “best practices,” they could reduce emissions by 30 percent.

There is no “universal” best practice. So-called “best practices” reflect a choice in goals. You can create a best practice for speediest production, or volume of production, or lowest cost of production, or lowest cost within existing labor commitments, and so on.  The 30 percent “improvement” Oxfam touts could easily wreak havoc with commitments made to labor, transporters, distribution channels, and lowest costs. Only the “maximum production” best practice produces the most food.
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Total pap... simplistic rubbish by Daley...
Yes there is a choice in goal for these multi-nationals and a change or an improvement of more ethical goal is important and NECESSARY. In fact, from my own experiences, most of Africa can feed itself with traditional or artisan methods. But there is NO PROFIT in it for multi-nationals. The main goal of multi-nationals is to hold the world to ransom by exclusivity of supplies for profit. the modus operandi of multi-nationals is/has been:
a) destroying local food supply by competing at a loss (or with government subsidies) until the traditional food supply have been decimated. 
b) supply exclusively 
c) have aggressive marketing campaigns that destroys local "philosophy" of need in favour of exclusive "wants". most of which are for foods and beverages that do encourage addiction and obesity.
d) make profits
e) don't care about "best practices". Don't care about global warming

Oxfam to its credit is very restrained in its approach to the present problems and the future problems of food supplies, especially problems related to monoculture, global warming and addiction to some substances, such as sugar and "supersized" quantities.

I guess that the writer, Alan Daley, does not believe in global warming, thus he cannot see the incoming dangers to food crops by weather patterns changes and other changes... His last two paragraphs are damning of himself:

Oxfam America has a first amendment right to voice its opinion, but no one appointed Oxfam as the martinet for corporate greenhouse gas emission quotas, especially companies of world-class efficiency that produce the affordable food needed by hundreds of millions. Lecturing others may be gratifying for NGO bureaucrats, but Oxfam lacks meaningful standing on the issue.

What will be the change in affordability of food from reducing production to satisfy Oxfam’s global warming whimsy? No doubt the ensuing price increases will cause some poverty reduction advocates to bray that food must be subsidized to the affordable levels companies used to charge — that’s an obvious second inning of Oxfam’s game — but what is it Oxfam really wants from this opening salvo?


Gus: Oxfam has a duty to point out the "greater" responsibilities that these big corporations tend to avoid. 

The world only needs the food produced by the giant corporations principally because these giant corporations have destroyed the best practices of local food supply through their aggressive marketing techniques and dare I say large subsidies by the US government in this process. See my story on this site of rolled oats supplied by the US to the village in which I was, in Africa, in the 1960s. The local were able to feed themselves and we decided the rolled oats would never make into the population, as it would have decimated the local markets of LOCAL produce. Oxfam has as much standing on this issue than anyone else who understand the problems associated with global warming and the destruction of local markets. Even my locals in Africa had a "lemonade" factory that was bottling stuff in reusable bottles... But of course they did not have fancy advertisements to their product, such as "unfair-y" tales adverts with "new improved" to make their consumers "believe in the product" and that it will give you wings...

Oxfam suggests a bit more understanding in the "framing practices", and I mean "framing practices", of these giants which are designed to eliminate competition in the same way as the coal industry is fighting tooth and nail to hold back renewable industries from entering the energy market.

Theirs is not so much designed to provide jobs, food or anything else apart from increasing PROFITS to shareholders.  There is nothing wrong per say with profits but, in the end, profits beyond a certain vision, can and will destroy the planet.

What Oxfam is suggesting is for these large food companies to realise that their influence is not a one way traffic and eventually, unless they become aware citizen of their production dynamics, they will overstep the mark further beyond a crash point in their neo-fascist mercantilism. Crops in some part of the US are suffering from drought and will be devastated by other global warming induced calamities, sooner than they think. 

Oxfam is firmly encouraging local produce against the assault from pre-packaged foods. Local food production encourages the creation and maintenance of jobs, while the industrial dumping of industrial scale food destroys local confidence, destroys jobs and encourages laziness.
I've seen it. I know.


global warming is real...


Disclosure: Oxfam is one of the charities that the Leonisky household contributes to...

about time... Thanks.

Some of the world’s top PR companies have for the first time publicly ruled out working with climate change deniers, marking a fundamental shift in the multi-billion dollar industry that has grown up around the issue of global warming.

Public relations firms have played a critical role over the years in framing the debate on climate change and its solutions – as well as the extensive disinformation campaigns launched to block those initiatives.

Now a number of the top 25 global PR firms have told the Guardian they will not represent clients who deny man-made climate change, or take campaigns seeking to block regulations limiting carbon pollution. Companies include WPP, Waggener Edstrom (WE) Worldwide, Weber Shandwick, Text100, and Finn Partners.

“We would not knowingly partner with a client who denies the existence of climate change,” said Rhian Rotz, spokesman for WE. 

Weber Shandwick would also not take any campaign to block regulations cutting carbon emissions or promoting renewable energy. “We would not support a campaign that denies the existence and the threat posed by climate change, or efforts to obstruct regulations cutting greenhouse gas emissions and/or renewable energy standards,” spokeswoman Michelle Selesky said.

“There may be scenarios in which we could represent a client that has different views on climate change, just not on this issue.”

The UK-based WPP, the world’s largest advertising firm by revenue and parent company of Burson Marsteller and Oglivy Public Relations, said taking on a client or campaign disputing climate change would violate company guidelines.

The reality is rather different...

At the heart of this story is the notion of merit. Untrammelled competition rewards people who have talent, work hard, and innovate. It breaks down hierarchies and creates a world of opportunity and mobility.

The reality is rather different. Even at the beginning of the process, when markets are first deregulated, we do not start with equal opportunities. Some people are a long way down the track before the starting gun is fired. This is how the Russian oligarchs managed to acquire such wealth when the Soviet Union broke up. They weren’t, on the whole, the most talented, hardworking or innovative people, but those with the fewest scruples, the most thugs, and the best contacts – often in the KGB.

Even when outcomes are based on talent and hard work, they don’t stay that way for long. Once the first generation of liberated entrepreneurs has made its money, the initial meritocracy is replaced by a new elite, which insulates its children from competition by inheritance and the best education money can buy. Where market fundamentalism has been most fiercely applied – in countries like the US and UK – social mobility has greatly declined.

If neoliberalism was anything other than a self-serving con, whose gurus and thinktanks were financed from the beginning by some of the world’s richest people (the US multimillionaires Coors, Olin, Scaife, Pew and others), its apostles would have demanded, as a precondition for a society based on merit, that no one should start life with the unfair advantage of inherited wealth or economically determined education. But they never believed in their own doctrine. Enterprise, as a result, quickly gave way to rent.

All this is ignored, and success or failure in the market economy are ascribed solely to the efforts of the individual. The rich are the new righteous; the poor are the new deviants, who have failed both economically and morally and are now classified as social parasites.

The market was meant to emancipate us, offering autonomy and freedom. Instead it has delivered atomisation and loneliness.

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