Cola giants back UN guidelines to ward off land grabs

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Young farmers in Tanzania. UN Photo/B Wolff

A set of global guidelines that protect the rights of poor and vulnerable people to land, livelihoods and food security has garnered the support of two giant beverage corporations.

PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have officially endorsed the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure initiated by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The guidelines call for the commitment of both the public and private sectors and promote responsible land practices.

They include recommendations to safeguard local people's rights in the event of large-scale land acquisitions which can help ward off the phenomenon of land grabs.

PepsiCo has published a land policy recognizing its obligations to "respect and protect the rights of local people".

The policy also declares a "zero tolerance" for illegal activities in its supply chain and land displacements of any legitimate land tenure holders.

Coca-Cola is also implementing a zero tolerance stance on land grabbing and is working with the charity organization Oxfam to protect the land rights of communities in some of the world's top sugarcane-producing region.

FAO is currently working on a private sector technical guide for the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21″

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