Who?s tipping the scales

Who’s tipping the scales

News: Recently, a report has been released by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES) titled “Who’s tipping the scales”. It highlights how corporate capture of global Food Governance is increasingly taking place in more visible ways and raising concerns over Bluewashing.

What is Bluewashing?
 Bluewashing is deceptive marketing used to make you believe a company is better and more ethical than it is. It is more or less like greenwashing but is focused more on social and economic responsibility rather than the environment.

Key Findings:
 The role of private corporations in food governance and decision-making has been normalized by publicprivate partnerships and multi-stakeholder roundtables while public governance initiatives have become heavily dependent on private funding.
 The UN Food Systems Summit, 2021 was described as a watershed moment in highlighting the importance of corporate influence in public health governance.
 Concerns have been raised that the increased involvement of corporations in food governance could lead to a weakening of the public good and impact the rights of people and communities.
 Corporations have influenced global food governance in visible and invisible ways. Other less visible ways in which corporate influence was seen in food systems governance was how the private sector enterprises provided political and institutional donations, shaped trading & investment rules and research strategies, and other structural aspects of global food systems.

Challenges of increased corporate involvement in Global Food Governance:
 Prioritization of profitability over public goods, food security etc
 Unequal distribution of benefits from food system. For example, focus on large scale producers over small scale farmers.
 Excessive corporate involvement can retrieve everyday transactions data (digital wallets to automated food services), which they can combine with information harvested online to manipulate people’s eating habits.
 May not be accountable to public, regulatory bodies.

Way Forward
 Create a robust conflict of interest and grievance policies and new mechanisms grounded in Human Rights, that allow people's organizations, social movements and other civil society actors to participate in food governance on their own terms.
Source – Down To Earth

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