Yesterday, Oxfam launched a new campaign focussing on how sugar production worldwide leads to land grabs – when poor communities are kicked off their land so big companies can grow cash crops. Our campaign report highlighted three of the 10 biggest food and drink companies – who buy or produce huge quantities of the world’s sugar – and scored them on their policies on land. 

48 hours in, more than 24,000 people have signed Oxfam’s petition asking Coca-Cola, Pepsico and Associated British Foods to make sure the sugar in their products don’t lead to land grabs. Sign up! 

So, how have the companies reacted? 

Coca-Cola logo
World’s largest buyer of sugar
Oxfam score: 2/10

Coca-Cola says that it has policies in place to deal with the issues we have raised and that they are working to address them. 

Oxfam’s response: Unfortunately, with a score of just 2/10 it’s clear Coke needs to do much more, and faster, to get its house in order. 

What you can do: Click here to tweet @CocaColaCo – the customer is always right! 

Pepsico logo
Controls 18% of the world’s soft drinks market
Oxfam score: 2/10

PepsiCo says it takes any problems raised about its suppliers seriously and assured us that they are in compliance with all the applicable laws. 

Oxfam’s response: It’s good to hear that the company has raised this issue with its suppliers but PepsiCo has missed the point. Many national laws are weak and ineffective – so compliance with the law doesn’t mean poor communities are protected from land grabs. 

What you can do: Click here to tweet @Pepsico – they care what the public thinks of their brand. 

One of the world’s biggest sugar producers
Oxfam score: 1/10 

ABF has pushed back. It says it has always been scrupulous in its approach to land ownership; that our call for them to commit to zero tolerance of land grabs would be a “cheap” gesture; that the true test of an organisation is not what it says but what it does. 

Oxfam’s response: We agree – actions do speak louder than words. However, on the evidence we’ve seen ABF’s policies remain weak and more openness is required. Consumers need to know that ABF is committed to zero tolerance on land grabs across its brands and businesses. 

What you can do: ABF doesn’t have a social media presence, but by signing our petition you’re strengthening our message: stop the sugar rush! 

What’s next? 

We’re trying to start a constructive dialogue with each of these three companies right now – we went to their UK HQs on Wednesday to tell them we need action. So far, conversations have begun with the companies. Watch this space for updates!

Share post: