Throughout our Hungry for change campaign we have called for transparent lobbying activities from powerful global companies, including those that dominate our food system.
Join us in asking that the UK government makes urgent changes to the lobbying bill to ensure lobbying activities are more transparent, giving all voices a fair chance of being heard.
At the moment, it is hard to see who is trying to influence government decisions. But we can see that small farmers and families who are trying to put food on the table often get a raw deal.
Here in the UK our government has promised to make lobbying more transparent. On the 17 July 2013 it published a bill with its proposals for a register of lobbyists. But the bill is flawed: only a few lobbyists would be covered by the proposed register. In-house lobbying teams from large multinational firms are excluded from the register, yet they can have a serious impact decisions made by politicians and in government.
We don’t want to miss a vital opportunity to bring greater transparency to a system that affects us all.
What is lobbying?
Lobbying an activity that attempts to sway a public official towards a particular decision, usually relating to government policy or a piece of legislation.
Why ask for transparent lobbying?
Lobbying is an important part of a healthy democracy when helps inform government decisions. However, it is important to know who is using their influence to shape laws and decisions. This will help us ensure that the needs of the world’s poorest communities do not go unheard when more powerful interests are also competing for attention.
CAFOD challenges decision-makers to adopt policies that promote justice and end poverty around the world.
For instance, our successful lobbying has helped to lead to the 2010 Bribery Act which included a new offence of ‘bribing a foreign official’.
Improving our democracy
We can help our politicians to make better decisions. In East Anglia we have a number of MPs who share our interests in international development and hold influential roles within the government. We regularly write to them, helping them recognise the needs of the world’s poorest communities, and understand how they can improve global justice.
Send a simple email to your MP today and help us make the case for a better democracy.
The email asks your MP to write to the government minister responsible for the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill. In the email we ask that:
- The register must cover all lobbyists, including multi-national companies’ own in-house lobbying teams;
- The amount of money spent on lobbying activities should be included;
- A one line summary of issues discussed between lobbyists and government (especially those relating to policy change or that influence particular laws) should be made publicly available.