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Campaigning to Stop Land Grabs

November 14, 2013

A petition and media campaign by the NGO Oxfam aimed at pressuring beverage companies to take steps to stop land grabs has produced its first results. The Oxfam campaign targets Coke, Pepsi, and Associated British Foods in an effort to convince them to source sugar from non-land-grab producers.

And earlier this week, the campaign claimed its first success, as Coca-Cola announced it would no longer purchase from suppliers that failed to follow guidelines to protect the land rights of local communities.  In a formal statement, the company proclaimed that “The Coca-Cola company believes that land grabbing is unacceptable. Our company does not typically purchase ingredients directly from farms, nor are we owners of sugar farms or plantations, but as a major buyer of sugar, we acknowledge our responsibility to take action and to use our influence to help protect the land rights of local communities.”

Monitoring would be contracted to independent auditors, who would evaluate protections afforded for social, environmental, and human rights. The company also asserted that it would maintain a “zero-tolerance” policy for land-grabs. Oxfam has now turned its attention to Pepsi and Associated British Foods, which have yet to follow suit. Keep up the good work, Oxfam!

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