PepsiCo has folded under pressure from consumers and Oxfam and has promised to alter its purchase policies regarding palm oil, soy and sugar cane to make them more sustainable and to resist land grabs.
272,000 signatures against land grabs
PepsiCo’s change of course is a boost for Behind The Brands, an Oxfam campaign to motivate the world’s largest 10 food multinationals to change their supply and production chains to make them more sustainable. 272,000 people have so far signed the campaign.
The company promises to thoroughly investigate how its trade impacts the area in countries like Brazil (where PepsiCo buys the bulk of its sugar), Mexico, Thailand and the Philippines. It will also divulge the three countries where it buys the majority of its resources and it will do likewise for its biggest suppliers of palm oil, soy and sugar cane.
Supplies grab land from farmers
Palm oil, soy and sugar cane are three of the most important resources to blame for the international struggle for land as some suppliers are not afraid to steal land from local farmers, according to an Oxfam research. PepsiCo has said it will end land grabs in its supply chain and whoever wants to supply resources for Lays, Doritos or Pepsi will have to be prove it has obtained its land legitimately”, Bert Dhondt (who leads Oxfam campaigns in Belgium) said.
“This would never have happened if thousands of people had not made themselves heard to force companies to respect the land rights of those in the supply chain. No company is large enough to be able to ignore its customers and the food industry can improve if its customers demand it”, Dhondt stated.
Coca-Cola and AB Foods
PepsiCo follows in the footsteps of its competitor Coca-Cola, which has agreed to the deal in November 2013. Associated British Foods has recently announced a new policy to illustrate it will follow a new principle of free, prior and informed consent to better protect the land rights of local communities.
“We welcome the steps PepsiCo has now taken and we will carefully check how it plans to implement these changes. We will keep looking for solutions for Brazilian and Cambodian communities (among others), alongside local partners. These communities are still fighting for access to their land", Oxfam declared.