Malaysian palm oil giant FELDA achieves RSPO certification despite continued risk to forests and workers

Press release - January 8, 2018
Jakarta, 8 Jan 2018 – The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil has recertified 8 palm oil mills belonging to FELDA, the world’s largest palm oil grower. [1] FELDA voluntary withdrew more than 50 of its palm oil mills from the certification scheme in May 2016 [2] after the Wall Street Journal documented systemic abuse of plantation workers in its Malaysian plantations. [3] FELDA is also responsible for considerable forest and peatland destruction in Indonesia. [4]

Bagus Kusuma, forest campaigner with Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said:

“Once again, the RSPO has shown itself to be weak and toothless. FELDA does not meet ‘no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation’ standards, despite persuading the RSPO to recertify a handful of its mills. Companies should not buy from FELDA or its subsidiaries until it can prove its days of exploiting workers and the environment are really over.”

“FELDA’s subsidiary FGV destroyed over 1,400ha of peat forest in the past two years. Under pressure from NGOs and its customers, FELDA promised in August 2017 to restore most of what it destroyed. Yet it still hasn’t published an action plan, let alone restored any forest.”

“FELDA continues to exploit its workers two years after its scandalous behaviour hit the headlines. FELDA needs to reform its labour practices immediately, including putting an end to recruitment fees for migrant workers and returning its workers’ passports.”

For a detailed list of actions FELDA / FGV needs to take to comply with corporate ‘no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation’ policies see:

Notes

[1] http://www.feldaglobal.com/fgv-on-track-to-earn-premiums-for-its-certified-sustainable-palm-oil-products-in-q1-2018/

[2] https://www.rspo.org/news-and-events/announcements/fgvs-withdrawal-of-rspo-principles-and-criteria-certificates

[3] https://www.wsj.com/articles/palm-oil-migrant-workers-tell-of-abuses-on-malaysian-plantations-1437933321

[4] https://chainreactionresearch.com/2017/05/10/the-chain-felda-global-ventures-allegedly-defying-government-of-indonesia-peatland-laws-company-disagrees/