Coca-Cola Supplier Loses Sustainable Agriculture Certification

There are no more excuses, Sprite. Reforest now!

by Rodrigo Estrada Patiño

December 1, 2017

Greenpeace and thousands of supporters across South America celebrated the Rainforest Alliance’s decision to cancel the sustainable agriculture certification of La Moraleja, one of Coca-Cola’s main suppliers of concentrated lemon juice for Sprite and other products.

La Moraleja operates a 74,000 acres farm in northern Argentina to produce lemons and it has illegally deforested more than seven thousand acres of native forests in that land. Greenpeace is demanding Coca-Cola’s Sprite to reforest the destroyed area and establish a Zero Deforestation policy for its suppliers – including La Moraleja.

“The Rainforest Alliance is one of the most respected environmental certifiers in the world and they have confirmed the damage done to the forest that Greenpeace and the communities have denounced for years. There are no more excuses for Sprite or Coca-Cola. It’s time to repair that damage and reforest,” said Hernán Giardini, Greenpeace forest campaign coordinator in Argentina.

In a letter to Greenpeace, the Rainforest Alliance announced that: “[b]ased on the results of the audit and following the policies that regulate the system of certification, we hereby inform you that Rainforest Alliance has decided to cancel the Sustainable Agriculture Network (RA-F-100905) certificate of La Moraleja S.A.”

The letter further specifies that: “The area deforested at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 and in 2014, which comes to a total of approximately 2970 hectares, corresponds to areas of High Conservation Value (HCV), in accordance with the definition of the SAN standard for sustainable agriculture […] This situation leads to the non-compliance of the requirements of the critical criteria of the Sustainable Agriculture Standard (Criteria 2.1 and 2.2).”

In spite of the fact that both Coca-Cola and La Moraleja recognize the damage took place, they offered to reforest less than half the area cleared. Greenpeace and thousands of people around the world continue to demand for the complete restoration of the affected area.

Rodrigo Estrada Patiño

By Rodrigo Estrada Patiño

Rodrigo works in the Communications Department at Greenpeace USA. He focuses on the organization's work to protect free speech and support the legal fights of our campaigns. He has covered forests, climate change, energy - specially oil - and toxic chemicals in the past. Rodrigo has been quoted in a wide range of national and international articles by CNN, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, Vice, Reforma, La Nación, and many more.

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