American Sugar Refining (ASR), the worlds largest sugar cane refiner and best known for producing Domino Sugar, holds an exclusive contract to buy all the sugar produced at a sugar plantation and factory in Sre Ambel District, Koh Kong Province, Cambodia, where villagers were illegally evicted from their land without fair or adequate compensation. The villagers are now facing impoverishment, malnutrition, and other social deprivations. The complaint alleges that ASRs parent companies Florida Crystals Corporation, Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida and Fanjul Corporation are also responsible for the illegal eviction and subsequent deprivation of the villagers.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
- Chapter II
- Chapter II Paragraph A1
- Chapter II Paragraph A10
- Chapter II Paragraph A11
- Chapter II Paragraph A12
- Chapter II Paragraph A2
- Chapter IV
- Chapter IV Paragraph 3
- Chapter IV Paragraph 5
- Chapter IV Paragraph 6
In April 2013, the US NCP concluded its initial assessment, determining the complaint was substantiated and admissible for further examination.
ASR was initially inclined to participate in mediation facilitated by the NCP and the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, but later withdrew from the process because of civil claims filed in the UK High Court against ASRs subsidiary, Tate & Lyle, by the Cambodian communities.
On 13 June 2013, the NCP issued a final statement reiterating that the complaint was substantiated and relevant, but concluding that the conditions did not exist for the NCP to play a further role in resolving the dispute. The NCP did recommend that ASR develop a human rights policy. The NCP also called on ASR to evaluate the issues raised by the complaint and formulate a strategy for addressing them.
The complainants welcome that for the first time the US NCP included recommendations in a final statement, but believe that the NCP could have provided more guidance regarding the expectations of companies under the OECD Guidelines in similar situations.
- CLEC & ERI vs American Sugar Refining Incorporated
- CLEC & ERI vs Florida Crystals Corporation
- CLEC & ERI vs Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida