First, a confession: I’ve got a very sweet tooth. I’ll never say no to a can of Sprite or 7UP, and I love a mug of Ovaltine of an evening. Which is why, just like the family in this video, I want to make sure the sugar in my favourite drinks don’t lead to land grabs.
So, why is this happening?
Companies like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Associated British Foods (which owns brands like Ovaltine, Twinings, Ryvita and Kingsmill) buy and produce huge amounts of sugar around the world – making them very powerful industry players. But as our demand for sugar increases, so does the rush for land to grow it on.
In Brazil and Cambodia, farmers have been kicked off their land by sugar suppliers who sell to Coke and Pepsi. Elsewhere, ABF – the biggest sugar producer in Africa – is reportedly linked to a range of ongoing land disputes. This means whole communities are losing their main source of food and income. Families are going hungry.
Coke, Pepsi and ABF aren’t doing enough to stop this
In many cases, weak company policies mean they don’t even seem to know if their sugar is grown on grabbed land. Because we buy what they sell, these big brands care what we think. So please join me and sign the petition to Coke, Pepsi and ABF, asking them to make sure the sugar in our favourite products doesn’t lead to land grabs.
This big focus on land and sugar is all part of Behind the Brands, our campaign which ranks the world’s largest food companies on issues such as land, workers’ rights and their treatment of women. The bottom line is they all need to do much better. It may sound like a tough ask – getting these big powerful brands to take action.
But we know companies are listening
In 2013, a trio of household names – Mars, Nestle and Mondelez (formerly Kraft) – responded to pressure from people like you and agreed to improve how they treat women cocoa farmers and their families. It’s a big win for Behind the Brands – so let’s get Coke, Pepsi and ABF to change the way they do business, too.