Can Pepsi and Coke end land grabs for sugar?

Loading sugar cane, northeastern Thailand. (Photo: Brian Hoffman)

The Sirinhaem River twists to the southern Atlantic through the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, breaking into a small delta once lush with mangrove trees where Maria Nazarete dos Santos is no longer allowed to live.

Blame the world's ravenous demand for sugar. Dos Santos is a member of one of more than 50 families that lived on small islands and fished the Sirinhamem for nearly a century until 2002. That's when a militia working for the Trapiche sugar company, owner of a nearby mill and cog that supplies major companies like Coke and Pepsi, swept through their villages, burning their dwellings.

Many of evicted islanders remain homeless. They “got no compensation from the company and live underneath the bridge now”, Dos Santos told the anti-poverty non-profit Oxfam (pdf) last year in a report on land grabs in the sugar industry.

Under pressure from Oxfam, two global behemoths – Coca-Cola and Pepsi – recently issued new policies on land grabs by their suppliers, including Trapiche, that could have global implications.

Read this article in full in The Guardian


Recent stories

35,000 Ugandans left homeless as private firms share Kiryandongo land

2nd Mar 2020
The government says the contentious territory was empty space and unoccupied public land but residents claim they hold it under customary ownership. (Source: Daily Monitor)


Hiring a Fundraising and Finance Coordinator

18th Dec 2019
This is an exciting and varied role with opportunity for development. This post aims to unlock organisational growth, particularly to sustainably expand the organisation to meet the increasing demand that we are experiencing from indigenous partners and movements.


LifeMosaic is a Not for Profit Company Limited by Guarantee (Registered company number: SC300597) and a Charity Registered in Scotland (Scottish Charity number: SC040573)