Rebalancing power in global food chains through a “Ways of Working” approach: an experience from Kenya

In Kenya, the horticulture sector ranks third in terms of foreign exchange earnings, engaging millions of people in production of crops for export. However, farmers and workers in that sector can face challenges in securing their basic rights, decent working conditions and sustainable livelihoods. A collaborative initiative led by Traidcraft Exchange and the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) documented these challenges in the Kenya-United Kingdom (UK) green bean supply chain and built a programme to tackle them. The initiative brought farmers and workers together with an exporter and a UK based retailer to learn about the functioning of the global value chain, discuss the challenges and identify the way forward. An action list emerged, and an innovative “Ways of Working” approach materialised with the aim to generate and implement a set of commitments through capacity development and periodic convening of supply chain actors. This report describes the approach and its implementation, and demonstrates how, through the opportunity to debate needs, rights and responsibilities on a level playing field, workers and farmers were able to secure a voice and influence trading arrangements in their favour.
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