On 13 October 2023, three non-governmental organisations (NGOs) ActionAid Italia, the association Collectif pour la défense des terres malgaches (Collectif TANY) and the Malagasy association BIMTT – filed a petition with the OECD National Contact Point (NCP) in Italy with respect to Tozzi Green regarding the agricultural activities in Madagascar of its Malagasy subsidiary (JTF).
According to the NGOs’ erroneous and incomplete reconstruction, the Company systematically ignored the fundamental and land rights of the communities affected by these activities, occupying land considered communal according to local traditions.
According to the NGOs, the Company has gone so far as to use intimidation tactics against the residents in the relevant areas. The petition makes a number of allegations that are both unfounded and defamatory. One of these allegations, land grabbing, i.e. the seizure of land by private parties to the detriment of the Malagasy people, is particularly defamatory given that it is directed at a Company that has always made respect for and support for local community development one of the cornerstones of its operations.
As a result of a widespread media campaign orchestrated by the NGOs behind the petition, the contents of the petition have been picked up by a number of online and print media outlets, thus contributing to the spread of unfounded accusations that seriously damage the reputation of Tozzi Green and its more than ten years of work in Madagascar.
The petition contains serious inaccuracies intended to discredit the Company’s position in the public eye. But that is not all. By disseminating some of the petition’s contents online and on the main social media platforms, the NGOs have blatantly violated the obligations of confidentiality and good faith that characterise the procedure that has been initiated.
For these reasons, the Company asked the NCP to close the case early due to the conflict deliberately created by the NGOs themselves.
Nevertheless, and while reaffirming its absolute respect for the work of international, national and local activism, the Company has decided to focus on transparency on this page.
In this section, we will therefore explain the correctness of our actions – also in the light of the OECD guidelines referred to by the NGOs – and refute the fake news that has been circulating on this matter.
The following aspects need to be clarified from the outset:
- All the land used for JTF’s agri-food activities has been obtained in full respect and compliance with Malagasy laws and with the involvement of the State of Madagascar;
- Tozzi Green has been present in Madagascar for over ten years and has always undertaken a series of initiatives for the benefit of local communities. In fact the Company’s actions are characterised by the utmost respect for local communities, the implementation of a broad participatory process, based on dialogue and respect for legal and ethical procedures, and the social and economic development of those involved, first and foremost through the promotion of employment.
- Over the years, Tozzi Green has also supported local communities from a social, cultural and sporting point of view, by building schools, hospitals and playgrounds, creating local associations and donating educational materials and sports equipment Among the many works carried out is the Centre de Santé Tozzigreen in Satrokala, in the Ihorombe region, a medical clinic that has provided care to more than 200,000 people since its opening, as summarised in the table below.
- Regarding the allegations about the end use of JTF’s agribusiness products, Tozzi Green’s policy is to support the livelihoods and development of local people: maize production in Madagascar, for example, is sustainable and inclusive and is not subject to export as it is reserved exclusively for local poultry feed companies and the UN World Food Programme (WFP). In fact, all cereal production in 2022-23 was sold to the WFP.