The Future is Equal

Oxfam files PepsiCo shareholder resolution

Oxfam files shareholder resolution urging PepsiCo to address land grabs. Groups use leverage as shareholders to urge attention for human rights.

Oxfam files shareholder resolution urging PepsiCo to address land grabs

Groups use leverage as shareholders to urge attention for human rights

Oxfam, the AFL-CIO, Trillium Asset Management and several other investors today filed a formal shareholder resolution urging PepsiCo to account for land rights violations in its supply chain. A recent investigation by Oxfam revealed that companies supplying sugar to PepsiCo and its franchisees have been implicated in violent land grabs, pushing small farmers off their land and undermining their livelihoods.

33 investors representing more than US$1.4 trillion in assets have issued a statement to companies in support of Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign and more than 250,000 people have already signed petitions urging PepsiCo to declare zero tolerance for land grabs. This month, Coca-Cola responded to the campaign by declaring “zero tolerance” for land grabs and committing to steps to prevent land conflicts in its supply chain. So far PepsiCo and Associated British foods have yet to address the issues highlighted by Oxfam’s report, Nothing Sweet About It.

“The pressure is only increasing on PepsiCo to address the realities of its supply chain,” said Judy Beals, campaign manager for Oxfam’s Behind the Brands Campaign. “The company is leaving itself open to immense risks if it fails to tackle land conflicts in areas where it sources ingredients. Coca-Cola has already identified these risks and made promises to address them. The question investors should ask is: why is PepsiCo so far behind?”

“As shareholders we want to know what PepsiCo is doing to ensure its suppliers are behaving responsibly and preventing land conflicts from undermining its reputation and operations,” said Beals. “We need a better understanding of how PepsiCo is managing supplier performance and risks that could have damaging impacts for the company and communities alike.”

The shareholder resolution will receive a formal vote at PepsiCo’s annual general meeting in early 2014. This week, Oxfam supporters delivered the more than 250,000 petitions to PepsiCo bottling plants and facilities in the US in order to build greater attention among company employees of the issues in its supply chain.