Who says direct action doesn’t work? Here’s this great news from Greenpeace. If we can only get other big evil corporations to follow suit.
Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil trader today announced a No Deforestation Policy in response to pressure from Greenpeace, NGOs and consumers around the world. The policy has the potential to be a landmark win for the world’s forests and the people that depend on them for their livelihoods.
Bustar Maitar, head of the Indonesia forest campaign at Greenpeace International said:
“Wilmar has responded to years of pressure from Greenpeace, other NGOs, and a growing movement of consumers around the world demanding clean palm oil and an end to forest destruction. Wilmar’s commitment to No Deforestation has the potential to transform the controversial palm oil industry.”
“Wilmar’s policy shows that the sector has a massive problem, and while this policy is great news for forests and tigers, its success will be judged by Wilmar’s actions to implement and enforce it. Our challenge to Wilmar is this: will it now immediately stop buying from companies such as the Ganda Group, which is closely linked to Wilmar and is involved in ongoing forest clearance, illegal peatland development and social conflict?”
Over the last seven years, Greenpeace has repeatedly exposed Wilmar’s role in gross acts of forest destruction; sourcing from national parks, destroying prime tiger habitat, sourcing from suppliers linked to orang-utan ‘graveyards’ or this year’s forest fire crisis in Sumatra, to name a few.
“For years companies, including Wilmar, have been hiding behind so called sustainability bodies such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Greenpeace will be closely monitoring how Wilmar will put these words into action, and will welcome Wilmar’s immediate end to all trade with companies involved in deforestation. The gauntlet is thrown to other palm oil traders such as Cargill, Musim Mas and Sime Darby to release similar policies,” added Bustar.
The palm oil sector is the greatest single cause of deforestation in Indonesia. Ministry of Forestry maps show that Indonesia is losing some 620,000ha of rainforest every year between 2009-2011 (an area greater than the size of Brunei). Palm oil’s expansion into New Guinea and Africa is already threatening forests, sparking controversy and conflict with local communities.
Wilmar International accounts for more than a third of global trade of palm oil.
And sign this petition asking other members of the Consumer Goods Forum (like P&G and L’Oreal) to “require its member companies to stop buying palm oil linked to rainforest destruction.”
UPDATED 12/15/2013: Wilmar’s evil legacy continues, however. Check out this story about one of Wilmar’s former companies and their unjust human rights abuses. Change? Nah, just sell the company.
Nearly 150 homes were reportedly destroyed in the latest incident in a long-standing conflict between indigenous Batin Sembilan residents and former Wilmar unit PT Asiatic Persada.
“The case raises a big question-mark over the sincerity of Wilmar’s recent, much publicized commitments,” he added, likely referring to a recent zero-deforestation pledge made by the company, which includes commitments to respect human rights and seek free, prior and informed consent from local land holders…
…Meanwhile, while the new owner, PT AMS, is not a member of the RSPO, other companies within the Ganda Group are members. In August, Colchester said, the RSPO secretariat wrote to the Ganda Group and asked it to clarify plans to bring its operations into compliance with RSPO standards.
- Palm oil giant Wilmar caves to public pressure, commits to end forest destruction (greenpeace.org)
- Palm oil giant Wilmar commits to sustainable sourcing (blueandgreentomorrow.com)
- Palm oil giant commits to zero deforestation (greenpeaceblogs.org)
- BREAKING NEWS: Wilmar Commits to Anti-Deforestation Practices (thewmeacblog.org)