SOMO has been arguing for some time now in favour of measures to end food speculation, on the basis of research carried out in 2010. The article 'Speculation is Disrupting the Food Market' in De Volkskrant of Saturday 15 January provides an explanation of trading on financial markets in financial agriculture commodity products. SOMO researcher Myriam Vander Stichele gives her opinion in the article.
Starvation wages, extremely long working days without a permanent contract and no trade union to stand up for you. This is the bitter aftertaste left by many of the fruit and vegetables in Dutch supermarkets such as Albert Heijn (Ahold). That’s the conclusion of ‘Bitter Fruit’, a report published by SOMO today. Although the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands says that it works to ensure responsible production, many – usually seasonal - workers in the fruit and vegetable sector in developing countries still struggle under poor working conditions. Better regulations and monitoring, as well as pressure on suppliers and governments in production countries, are therefore sorely needed.
In the context of the Procure IT Fair project, SOMO collected information on public institutions and other organisations in Europe that actively engage in the sustainable public procurement of IT hardware. Examples of procurement of IT hardware are presented that take into account social considerations, such as adherence to the ILO Core Conventions for the benefit of public purchasers, policy makers and other interested parties. These examples illustrate what is possible within the framework of the European Procurement Directives.
Nuon and Essent do not do enough for sustainable electricity supply. Dong appears to be willing to switch to clean electricity, and has cancelled plans to build new coal-fired power stations. These are the main conclusions drawn by Greenpeace on the basis of the new SOMO report, ‘Sustainability in the Dutch Power Sector’.
On Friday 17 December, Stichting Wemos, together with student association IFMSA-NL, is organising a screening of the English-language film ‘Body Hunters’, on the testing of medicines in India. Wemos will also be launching its book, which features the experiences of people who took part in clinical trials. Dutch Green Party MEP Judith Sargentini will be presented with the first copy. SOMO will be making an advance announcement of its new report on this theme.