Friends of the Earth says RSPO not improving palm oil in Indonesia

November 26, 2013 |

In Indonesia, a new study by Friends of the Earth concludes that voluntary guidelines, such as those established by the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Environmental, Social and Governance policies (ESG) of European investors have not led to any significant improvement in the palm oil situation.

The group says the report ‘Commodity Crimes: Illicit Land Grabs, Illegal Palm Oil and Endangered Orangutans’ documents the illegal logging of land near protected forests in Indonesia by Bumitama Agri Group, leading to the destruction of forest that is home to endangered orangutans.

They say a plantation, managed by Bumitama, was cleared in violation of national laws, creating at least 5,000 hectares of ‘ghost estates’ which operate without the necessary permits. Selling palm oil from unlicensed plantations is illegal, yet large palm oil companies, for example the palm oil giant Wilmar International, purchase more than half (56%) of Bumitama Agri’s palm oil, thereby bringing illegal palm oil into their supply chain.

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