Cambodia: Mitr Phol pulls out sugar plantations after years of allegations of land rights & environmental abuses
Author: Bangkok Post, Published on:
"Dogged by abuse allegations, Mitr Phol pulls out of Cambodia", 11 May 2015
Mitr Phol Sugar...has pulled out of its three plantations in Cambodia’s Oddar Meanchey province after years of allegations about illegal business practices and human-rights abuses...Asia's largest sugar producer withdrew from its concessions, which total 20,000 hectares, after an audit in 2013 by the Coca-Cola Co as part of its "zero tolerance" campaign against land appropriation. Mitr Phol, one of three major suppliers to Coca-Cola, owns stakes in three sugar firms in Cambodia: Angkor Sugar, Tonle Sugar Cane, and Cane and Sugar Valley. "Mitr Phol has decided to withdraw from the concessions," Eang Vuthy, executive director of local NGO Equitable Cambodia...[said] "We have informed the government land committee...The legal land owners were evicted and they should be compensated and their land returned,"...The report accused Mitr Phol of illegally confiscating thousands of hectares of land from villagers, but planting sugar on only 219 hectares...Other allegations levelled against the company include arson, crop-looting, beatings and threats, and intimidation of villagers...Mitr Phol...'s website..."suggests it dedicates considerable resources towards social responsibility."...Mitr Phol...said...it has earmarked 18 billion baht for expansion in both domestic and international markets.