IIED webinar: Rebalancing power in global food chains

News, 30 May 2019
Join our latest webinar on 19 June 2019 to discuss an experience of tackling challenges affecting farmers and workers in a global value chain.

A women with a basket on her head watches other women and children pick green beans in a field

An initiative led by IIED is generating lessons on how rural producers, their associations and wider communities can best empower themselves to articulate their development priorities, make informed choices, and negotiate effectively for equitable partnerships with progressive private sector actors in commercial agriculture. 

This webinar, part of the 'Empowering Producers In Commercial agriculture’ (EPIC) project, will share and debate experiences of an initiative to tackle challenges in a Kenya-UK green bean supply chain, through which farmers and workers secured a stronger voice and influenced the trading arrangements within a global value chain.

This online seminar on Wednesday, 19 June (12-1.30pm BST) is designed for rural producer organisations, private sector, civil society and development agencies.

Outline programme


•    Mary Kambo, from the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC)
•    Kashara Kitonga, a smallholder farmer in Meru, Kenya
•    Hazel Culley, from Marks & Spencer (M&S)
•    Tom Wills, from Traidcraft Exchange

An introduction to the webinar and the topic with perspectives from the panellists will be followed by a facilitated discussion among webinar participants. The panellists will consider questions of interest to practitioners working on similar issues in different contexts such as:

•    What were the most effective approaches for supporting farmers and workers in the green bean supply chain?
•    What conditions need to be in place for the approaches to work?
•    What challenges are likely to arise, and how can they be addressed?
•    What top tips for adapting the approaches to other contexts (commodities, supply chains, geographies)?

Event details

Title: Rebalancing power in global food chains – lessons from Kenya
Date: Wednesday, 19 June 2019
Time: 12-1.30pm (GMT+1)
Designed for: Rural producer organisations, private sector, civil society and development agencies
Where: From your desk or portable internet device. Webinars are online workshops that people can attend via the internet
To join the webinar: Register via Eventbrite before Monday, 17 June 2019.

This webinar will use Adobe Connect. For those who have not attended an Adobe Connect meeting before, please test your connection once you have registered. A quick start guide for desktop or mobile access (PDF) is also available.

About the speakers

Mary Kambo is labour rights programme advisor at KHRC. KHRC has been campaigning for the entrenchment of a human rights and democratic culture in Kenya. Mary has specialist knowledge on labour justice at the national, regional and international levels, having engaged in labour rights work for more than 10 years. She was the project manager for the Kenya Horticulture Project, which included the green bean supply chain.

Kashara Kitonga was previously producing fine beans for the UK export market. He is currently the coordinator of the Meru-Lewa Horticulture Producers and Exporters Cooperative Society.

Hazel Culley is senior food sustainable product and raw material manager at M&S, which is one of the UK's leading retailers. For the last four years Hazel has worked in M&S’ sustainability team with a current focus on M&S raw materials and capacity building within the foods supply chain and associated communities. Hazel manages a number of stakeholder partnerships to help deliver programmes on the ground; she spends a lot of time with producers and has visited producers all over the world.

Tom Wills is a policy advisor at Traidcraft Exchange, a UK NGO that works towards global trade that creates lasting solutions to poverty for workers and farmers. Tom focuses on agricultural supply chains and the role of government regulation in supporting fairer forms of business. Prior to joining Traidcraft Exchange in 2015, he was a civil servant and has experience working in think tanks and charities.

This is the third in a series of events organised under the IIED-led EPIC project. EPIC is funded by UK aid from the UK government (DFID) through its Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA) programme.

This is an IIED ‘legal tools’ webinar. 'Legal tools for citizen empowerment' is an IIED-led collaborative initiative to help local communities protect their rights in relation to natural resource investments.


For more information about IIED's Legal Tools work, contact:

Lorenzo Cotula (lorenzo.cotula@iied.org), team leader, legal tools

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