What is PP Sugar's response to allegations that it forcibly evicted hundreds of families from their land in order to develop the sugar plantation?

The allegations are not accurate and have greatly oversimplified the actual process. The land in question was hardly developed and without an apparent community before we have obtained the rights for the plantation. In fact, we chose that area because of that particular reason. No business enterprise wants to start battling the local members, especially the one hoping to secure local labour services as ours. It happens that the eventual protesting presence consist of people from other areas, coordinated to group together by either NGOs or Cambodia's opposition party or both. To say that we came in the area and forced the people out is simply not true. We did the opposite. We have added economic values to the formerly-no-value land to such a degree that everyone now wants a piece.

Why did PP Sugar call in members of a military battalion in 2010 to help enforce its takeover of land awarded to it under the government's concession?

When the protests got feistier and violent, our properties were practically burnt down to the ground. That was when a security unit was called in, not by us but the local provincial authority. It was the other way around. The idea was self defense and in line of protection.

Does PP Sugar believe affected families have been adequately compensated for their loss of land and livelihood?

Yes, we do. Fingerprints of the local folks, upon receiving the compensations, prove that they are satisfied with the arrangements.

Why did PP Sugar destroy a community forest that had been registered with the national government and which was a food source for the community?

It was not “a forest” to begin with. The area was hardly anything but a field or a grove. You can't destroy what was not there. Local people didn't rely on the area as their food source.

A September 2013 audit by IEM found PP Sugar has not monitored food security for re-settled populations. Why not?

It is too much of a fantasy to figure that people needed to be fed, or they would starve to death. It may be true in certain parts of Africa but not in Cambodia. Even though the issue of food security is never included in the agreement we have made with the government, we tend to think that the development of the area with the sugar cane plantation is actually an assurance of food and social securities in the locality.

That same audit also found PP Sugar had failed to establish a series of environmental and social management plans and lacks safe worker policies. What is PP Sugar doing to rectify this?

This is an ongoing process. We have developed the area from nothing to something, and we can't make it perfect all at once. These matters take time to progress.

How is the 2013 policy forbidding contractors to employ under-age children to work on the plantation going? Has it been successful?

It has been successful. Any direct application of child labour, previously put in force by the families themselves, is strictly prohibited and stopped. However, we can't transform long tradition of families tagging along their under-age children. All we can do is to watch over these local folks not to step into the boundary of child abuses.

Has PP Sugar been contacted in recent months by financier ANZ regarding concerns about the treatment of people affected by the Kampong Sepu plantation?

As we have diligently responded to whoever cares to question us on our affairs, being a media representation or an investor, we have also kept a close touch with ANZ, who seems to have a lot of interest in the matter. Yes, we and ANZ have been rather closely in communication.

What steps is PP Sugar taking to improve the quality of life for the families affected by the sugar plantation?

By giving them employment opportunity. By giving them know-how of sugar cane planting, so they can eventually become our supplier more lucrative than rice growing. By planning at least a school for local students and other social contributions.