Coke’s Zero Tolerance For Land Grabs Proves Difficult To Fulfill

The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO) has had a good record, with its anti-land grabbing policies being enforced especially, with its authorized distributors and sugarcane suppliers.

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Coke made declarations in the past and announced their zero tolerance to land grabbing, as well as promising to protect the land rights of the local communities, where the company acquires the sugarcane. This policy has recently been criticized particularly because of Coke’s report at the World Bank conference, where the company claimed to have found no evidence of land grabbing in Guatemala. The country has had a lot of land conflicts, and human rights abuse light of its violent history. Coke was attacked for overlooking these conditions and failing to report them, thus failure to keep up with its pledge.

The company was also grilled because it had not reviewed the process of land acquisition by the sugar millers within the country. Coke’s director, Ed Potter, agreed that the company does indeed need to improve its review process.

Coke received reproach for profiting from Cambodia’s government orchestrated land grabbing, which are reported to have displaced innocent Cambodians in order to acquire land for sugar companies.

Ed Potter acknowledged a stricter follow-up in line with the 2013 pledge. He went on to suggest that the road ahead would be tough for Coke, especially because of the extremely complicated legal matters and the lengthy bureaucratic policies. He went ahead to reveal that the ever increasing human rights groups do not leave any clear guidelines on declaration of authenticity for most of the supply chains.

Chris Jocknick, who is a director at Oxfam America, maintained that big companies have a responsibility to use their influence to influence change, particularly in human rights issues.



Cooper is a graduated from Buffalo State College in New York with a bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism.