Consumer goods giants under fire for poor palm oil record

Italian confectionery maker Ferrero is leading the consumer goods industry on sustainable palm oil procurement while household names Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson&Johnson, and PepsiCo are the biggest laggards, according to a new scorecard by Greenpeace International.

The scorecard ranked the 14 global companies which have made no-deforestation promises in recent years on their performance in three key areas: responsible sourcing of palm oil; transparency about their supply chain; and their support for wider industry reform. 

The 14 corporations were: Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Ferrero, General Mills, Ikea, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelez, Nestle, Orkla, PepsiCo, P&G and Unilever. Tiếp tục đọc “Consumer goods giants under fire for poor palm oil record”

“Local Start-ups Hold the Key to Transforming Africa’s Seed Industry”

September 2, 2015

Author: Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Agricultural Innovation in Africa; Science, Technology, and Globalization; Science, Technology, and Public Policy

The seed industry in sub-Saharan Africa is informal in nature, with approximately 80% of farmers saving and replanting seeds from year to year. This gives them security of access. But improved varieties — including high-yielding and hybrid crops — will increase productivity and income.

To get these seeds into the hands of farmers, a better marketing and distribution system is needed. Local small and medium-sized seed enterprises have a comparative advantage in reaching this underserved market due to their size and market reach.

There has been considerable concern over the potential control of Africa’s seed sector by large corporations. While such firms continue to operate in most countries, it notable that Africa’s seed sector is currently dominated by local start-ups.

The firms are well positioned to promote food security and improve livelihoods among marginalised rural communities. They could help grow the fledgling seed industry, but need better access to credit, research facilities and human resources to achieve their full potential.

What’s holding back the sector in Africa Tiếp tục đọc ““Local Start-ups Hold the Key to Transforming Africa’s Seed Industry””