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Erinch Sahan

Senior Policy Advisor, Business and Markets, Oxfam Asia

BACKGROUND / Academic and professional background

I am currently working for Oxfam across Asia to help leverage and shape markets to tackle poverty. Until recently, I was leading Oxfam’s food and climate campaigns and policy team. My flagship project has been the Behind the Brands campaign, where I helped lead the project and developed the scorecard at the heart of the campaign.

Before joining Oxfam, I worked for the Australian government on market-based aid programs in Indonesia. Prior to entering development, I worked as a market strategist at Procter & Gamble and ran a start-up furniture business in Australia. My background includes stints as a trainee solicitor, business consultant and radio host. EI have lectured on sustainable business at leading universities, including Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham and Sheffield. My academic background is in Law and Finance. I also hold a Masters in International Law.

ACHIEVEMENT/ What is your project, initiative, start-up, company all about?

Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign is shaping the way the world’s largest food and beverage companies do business. By amplifying the voice of over 700,000 consumers, investors representing over $1.4 trillion and the many voiceless framers around the world, the campaign led to breakthrough new approaches by the world’s iconic food brands. These include bold steps to hold suppliers to account for land grabs, measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions in supply chains, and serious steps towards ending the discrimination faced by women cocoa farmers.

The campaign provides consumers with information about the supply chains of the ‘Big 10’ (Nestle, PepsiCo, Unilever, Mondelez, Coca-Cola, Mars, Danone, Associated British Foods (ABF), General Mills and Kellogg’s) on: climate change, land rights, women’s rights, worker’s rights, smallholder farmers, water and transparency.

These companies drive how food is produced, the way resources are used and the extent to which benefits trickle down to the millions at the bottom of supply chains. Meanwhile, the global food system fails the poorest, with nearly 1/8 going hungry – many relying on agriculture for a livelihood.

LOCATION/ In which city, country, part of the world do you conduct your activities?

Based in Bangkok and Oxford, but working across 94 countries

IMPACT/ What is the positive economic, social, political, environmental…of your activity, project, initiative, start-up, company?

Communities are now being consulted before land transfers and women are getting greater say over cocoa production. By giving commercial credibility to concepts like land rights and women’s empowerment, the Big 10 are also shaping the agendas of governments, suppliers and competitors.

QUOTE/ A saying, quote or reference phrase that tells something about you

Power is the new black – responsible companies give power to workers, farmers and communities