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Pepsico Commits to Third-Party Environmental Audits of Top Supplier Countries

pepsico-smallerPepsico is committed to establishing a third-party audit program based on the social, environmental and human rights standards of its top sugar sourcing country, Brazil, by the end of 2014, according to the company’s new land use policy.

Pepsico plans to create similar audit programs for its sugar supply chain in Thailand, palm oil supply chain in Mexico and coconut water supply chain in the Philippines by the end of 2016.

The land policy also prohibits its suppliers from displacing legitimate land tenure holders and requires fair and legal negotiation for land acquisitions.

The company will also further develop and maintain a comprehensive map of its raw agricultural commodities supply chain, under the new policy.

The third-party assessments will focus on impacts related to land rights and include the affected communities. The company will provide a public summary of critical findings, including a methodology used for each assessment.

Pepsico has added detailed questions regarding land rights within its sustainable farming initiative (SFI). The company’s SFI program was launched to evaluate farmers with whom the company directly contracts.

The land policy was developed in consultation with Oxfam and other third-party experts and builds on Pepsico’s supplier code of conduct, which  addresses labor practices, health and safety, environmental management and business integrity.

In January, PepsiCo, Unilever, Heineken and other members of the Cool Farm Institute launched an online tool to help farmers assess and improve the environmental and economic performance of their businesses. The carbon-management calculator, developed by Best Foot Forward, is free for individual farmers; use by supply chain businesses requires a use or membership fee.

The Cool Farm Institute, whose members include Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Yara and Fertilizers Europe, also invited other businesses to use the web app and collaborate on agricultural sustainability.

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