PHNOM PENH POST (11 May 2015 – Daniel Pye) – Asia’s largest sugar producer, Thailand’s Mitr Phol Sugar Corporation, has withdrawn from its three plantations in Oddar Meanchey province following years of criticism over alleged illegalities and human rights abuses at the concessions, a development watchdog has said.
The three Mitr Phol concessions in Oddar Meanchey’s Samroang and Chongkal districts, totalling nearly 20,000 hectares, were visited by representatives of the Coca-Cola Company last year as part of its supply-chain audit after it committed to a “zero tolerance” approach to land grabbing in 2013.
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 yesterday. “We have informed the government land committee. The EU and government are conducting a joint audit of the concessions, so we are advocating that they expedite the case.”
“The legal land owners were evicted and they should be compensated and their land returned,” he added.
Read more at Phnom Penh Post.