A freshly published Oxfam report claims that big drink and food sector names are failing to take sufficient action to prevent so-called land grabs and conflicts around land within the supply chains they use.

This includes examples of disputes and land grabs that it says are connected to businesses supplying sugar used in PepsiCo and Coca-Cola items, as well as allegations about disputes within the supply chain of Associated British Foods, the agency reports.

The report, released October 2nd, is called Sugar Rush: Land rights and supply chains of the biggest food and beverage companies.

Oxfam explains that land grabs is a term used to describe large deals in which locals reliant on a piece of land get evicted from it without having given their consent or getting compensation.

A campaign from the charity claims the biggest ten drink and food companies globally don’t have sufficiently strong policies for preventing land grabs and land disputes being a feature of the supply chains they use.

The agency reports that globally, the trade in sugar has a value of some USD 47 billion – and production of the material is forecast to go up some 25 per cent by the year 2020. Some 31 million hectares of land is currently used for sugar growing, and a lot of this is in developing parts of the world.

“Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Associated British Foods are the world’s biggest producers and buyers of sugar but they are doing little to ensure the sugar in their products is not grown on land grabbed from poor communities,” commented Oxfam’s executive director, Winnie Byanyima.

“The people who love their products expect better. We are calling on them to join us in demanding that Coke, Pepsi and Associated British Foods act now to stamp out land grabs.”

The report is available to read in full on the Oxfam website.

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