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PepsiCo declares “zero tolerance” for land grabs

By Oxfam
Oxfam volunteers outside of PepsiCo headquarters in New York City in October 2013. Photo: Vasia Markides/Oxfam America

Consumers like you convinced the soda giant to help protect farmers’ land rights around the world.

After more than 272,000 people signed petitions and took action with Oxfam’s  Behind the Brands campaign, PepsiCo announced today that it is committing to take steps to stop land grabs in its global supply chain.

Land grabbing is a bitter secret in the sugar supply chains of some of the world’s biggest food and beverage companies. Too often poor communities across the globe are being kicked off of their land, without consultation or compensation, to make way for huge sugar plantations that sell to the biggest brands in the world. When families lose their land, they often lose their homes and their main source of food and income.

PepsiCo’s commitments—which include setting a policy of “zero tolerance” for land grabs and requiring their suppliers to do the same —could help protect the rights of rural communities worldwide.

“Consumer power just got a little bit more powerful,” said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International. “Suppliers who want their ingredients to be used in everything from Lays and Doritos to Gatorade and Mountain Dew must now ensure their land is acquired responsibly.”

Behind the Brands ranks the policies of the world’s 10 biggest food and beverage companies on poverty and hunger issues, then helps consumers to use their power to persuade companies to do better for people and the planet. PepsiCo’s announcement follows similar commitments made by the Coca-Cola Company, another target of the campaign, in late 2013.

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