Indonesia: August 2014
Strategic session and communications training
During the last week of August 2014, Fairfood shared skills and knowledge on how to transform campaign ideas into winning campaigns with our partner in Indonesia, the trade union confederation KSBSI, as part of the WE project.
During the strategic session in Jakarta, the current campaign proposal was analysed, which the union had drafted as a result of the WE project training activities last year.
Additional training on the communications perspective and Monitoring and Evaluation on campaigning was also delivered to the nine union leaders who attended the sessions. The results: a new campaign focus on income inequality amongst outsourced and permanent workers in the palm oil industry in the Riau region, as well as sparking ideas on how to make the advocacy work more effective.
At the end of the strategic session, one participant said: “The training helped me to focus on the goal of the campaign and pay attention to all the elements needed to develop a campaign. I also appreciated being able to discuss the campaign with my colleagues and work together to start improving our proposal”.
KSBSI will now continue to work on improving their proposal and submit an improved version in November. Fairfood will then use this proposal to apply for joint funding needed to implement their campaign.
The WE project continues working to improve local worker organisations’ advocacy and campaigning capacities in the global south (Africa, Central and Latin America, and Asia), where food commodities are produced. One of the activities in 2014 is to enable our partners in Indonesia and Colombia to plan and execute effective campaigns at the beginning of the value chain. These campaigns will collaborate towards a fairer and more sustainable food system.
Last July, the WE team visited Bogota (Colombia) in order to work with our partnerConfederación General del Trabajo (The General Confederation of Labour, CGT). The aim of the visit was to analyse, update and adjust the campaign proposal that CGT have been working on since last summer. In addition, CGT received training on how to design effective communication strategies and on monitoring and evaluation.
The campaign that CGT is designing aims to improve the situation in the Urabá region, where the decline of banana production is leading to instability of employment and job loss. CGT aims to work with different stakeholders at the beginning of the value chain in order to create a sustainable alternative for the current situation. If the campaign is implemented, it will directly impact on 2,000 workers and their families.
Participants found the sessions very valuable and were pleased with the learning outcomes. One of the participants said: “Now we understand the weaknesses and gaps in our current proposal. By the end of the year, we are confident we will have a stronger campaign proposal”.
Inés and Ainhoa were received by a cloudy Tegucigalpa for the last of the trainings with the CGT, our partner in Honduras.
The committed participants at first struggled to find a food sector to focus on, as “there is a lot to be done”. Working on a complex social and political context, the team started to shape some campaign ideas and began to believe in the feasibility of the project.
“I found the stakeholder analysis the most interesting part of the training. Now I know who we need to influence and how to do it, so that our campaign is a success”, Yumila Zuñiga said.
Jose Maria López, another participant said “I have learnt a lot and now I want to share this knowledge with others. Together we can improve our country”.
Ainhoa Galán joined Inés In San José in order to train the CMTC, Fairfood’s partner in Costa Rica. The participants were greatly concerned about unhealthy working conditions in the sugarcane production. This topic was built on the research CMTC did last year so the team had a great understanding about the topic.
After vibrant discussions and brainstorm sessions, participants started to shape their campaign objectives and strategy. “It was very encouraging to see how the team was quickly progressing as the training went by”, says Ainhoa.
Participants found the training very valuable:
“This training has opened our eyes to a new way of preparing campaigns. We can apply this new knowledge to a lot of other projects inside the organisation”, said Jhonatan Monge, coordinator of the training programs at CMTC.
After receiving these inspiring comments our Fairfood managers continued their trip to Honduras.
At the time Fairfood planned the training with CGT, the labour union in Colombia, preparation for a national agricultural strike was under way. Many Colombian organisations were involved, including CGT. They were asking for more government focus on the deplorable situation of farmers in rural areas.
The tension was tangible when our trainer arrived in the country; nonetheless we decided to proceed with the training as planned. It soon turned out that perhaps the timing was not so bad at all: the increasing public attention for these issues and the rising awareness among citizens presented a window of opportunity to advance agricultural workers’ rights. The CGT team was very enthusiastic about developing their own campaign during the training and decided to work on a strategy for addressing the health problems of farmers and communities associated to the burning of sugar cane in the Valle del Cauca region. Interesting discussions and the typical Colombian humour characterized the sessions and making the training an interesting and enjoyable experience for all participants.
After giving our first basic campaign training to the labour union in Jakarta, GFL in Ghana was the next stop. Agnes de Rooij spent almost a week in Tema, to teach campaigning skills to a dedicated team. Participants were happy about learning a lot about the broad range of tactics one can use when starting a campaign. The participants also learnt that involving other stakeholders, such as consumers can bring added value to a strategy.
The project team will now spend the next months working on creating a campaign proposal assisted by Fairfood. GFL will look at creating a campaign to eradicate child labour in the cacao industry in Ghana.
While Agnes de Rooij was training the labour union in Ghana, Ines del Real Tovar flew to Cape Town for a 3 day training with CONSAWU. People at CONSAWU are used to doing campaigns, but they unanimously expressed that this training will help them to better organise the process. Now that they have a concrete methodology it is more clear which different steps needs to be followed in order to become more effective. One of the main gains as mentioned by the participants was the importance of dedicating time and resources to the planning process, before engaging in actual activities. “I enjoyed it a lot. The training was very well set, and the case study we used to support the theory was a good reference for us”, said Envor Barrios, General Secretary NCFAWU.
CONSAWU is looking forward to writing a proposal aimed at gaining the support of the agricultural workers of the West Cape Province on the SIZA Initiative. The SIZA Initiative is an ethical trade programme which includes a code of conduct, launched by the fruit companies in South Africa, in which CONSAWU is involved. The programme will help to improve the working conditions of 730.000 workers, at the start of the fruit chains in this country.
Flexibilisation of labour is a great concern to our partner KSBSI in Indonesia. Many people that work in the food sector in Indonesia are hired through temporary agencies, and don’t have any labour rights. To support KSBSI and the labour unions actively in the food industry to work on these and other issues, Fairfoodies Ines del Real Tovar and Agnes de Rooij, headed to Jakarta in July, to give the first Basic Campaign training under the new cooperation programme with the WE-project.