Stop the sugar industry from bleeding Cambodian farmers by taking their land
Published: 03 Jul 2012
Posted in:  Cambodia
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Boycott Blood Sugar
Stop the sugar industry from bleeding Cambodian farmers by taking their land

Statement by Cambodia Clean Sugar Campaign
July 3, 2012

In Cambodia today, hundreds of thousands of people are being displaced from their homes, farmlands, forests and fisheries as investors plunder the country for private profit in the name of ‘development’. In rural areas, more than 2 million hectares havebeen granted to private companies as concessions for the development of agro-industrial plantations.

The sugarcane industry has been one of the worst offenders driving this land-grabbing crisis. At least 75,000 hectares in economic land concessions have been granted to private companies for industrial sugarcane production in recent years.

These concessions have led to the destruction of protected forests, the pollution of water sources, and the forced displacement and dispossession of hundreds of families in Koh Kong, Kampong Speu, Oddar Meanchey and Svay Rieng provinces.

Crops have been razed. Animals have been shot. Homes have been burned to the ground. Thousands of people have been left destitute. Some have been thrown in jail for daring to protest.Despite the abundant evidence of these crimes, none of the responsible individuals and companies have been held to account.

Meanwhile, the sugar that is tainted by gross human rights abuses is exported to Europe, where suppliers and importers receive special trade benefits under the Everything But Armsinitiative.

For the past two years, we have called upon the companies that are producing and selling this sugar to provide restitution to those who have lost their land, homes and livelihoods to make way for their plantations. We have sent letters and filed complaints against Ly Yong Phat, Mitr Pohl, KSL, Ve Wong Group, Tate and Lyle and American Sugar Refining (Domino Sugar). These companies have all failed to respond and take action to repair the harm that their business has caused to so many Cambodian families.

So, today we are calling upon consumers around the world to stop buying their products. In particular, we urge European consumers to boycott Tate and Lyle Sugars products. We are launching an online video today, which does just that. We will call off this boycott once Tate and Lyle Sugars and their suppliers KSL, Ve Wong, Ly Yong Phat and Mitr Pohl provide a just remedy to the people who have been harmed by their operations in Cambodia.

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The Clean Sugar Campaign is a coalition of affected  communities and civil society organizations working to:
▪ Stop human rights abuses and environmental damage caused by the Cambodian sugar industry;
▪ Bring about a just resolution for the individuals and communities that have been harmed by the industry; and
▪ Ensure that the agricultural development and trade policies benefit smallholder farmers and local communities.

For more information, visit www.boycottbloodsugar.net or contact:

Seng Sokheng, Community Peace-building Network
seng.sokheng@gmail.com
(+855) 92 324 668

Eang Vuthy, Equitable Cambodia
vuthy@equitablecambodia.org
(+855) 12 791 700

David Pred, Inclusive Development International
david@inclusivedevelopment.net
(+1) 650 766 1039

Am Sokha, Community Legal Education Center
amsokha@clec.org.kh
(+855) 066 777 031