Remember when you got Coca-Cola and PepsiCo to commit to ‘zero tolerance’ for land grabs late 2013 and early 2014, following detailed claims that their sugar supply chains were linked to land-related human rights issues?
Since then, we have been monitoring the companies’ progress implementing their commitments and providing advice on how they can improve. As of early 2016, both companies have taken an important step on implementation by assessing land rights risks and impacts of their cane sugar sourcing in Brazil; Coca-Cola by conducting a baseline study, PepsiCo through audits. Assessment processes, when done well, are important in helping companies identify issues and steps to take to address them.
Oxfam commissioned an external evaluation of the companies’ efforts in order to understand their quality and ascertain how they can improve future practice.
How’d they do?
- Overall, Coca-Cola’s baseline study was comprehensive in scope. Prior to the publication of the evaluation, Coca-Cola published elements of an action plan to address key findings, such as the absence of policies on land rights among its suppliers, and committed to continue to improve upon its baseline studies in the future.
- PepsiCo’s approach requires improvement, particularly around its scope, its stakeholder engagement, and disclosure. Encouragingly, in October 2016, PepsiCo recognized it needs to go further in Brazil and adopted a new approach for all future assessments based on good practice.
Oxfam will continue to call on PepsiCo to follow through in full on its commitments made. We’re keeping an eye out and look forward to seeing more progress along the way, so stay tuned.