Greenpeace Exposes Corporate Loopholes Designed to Obscure Rainforest Destruction

by Diana Ruiz

June 28, 2017

Despite years of these pledges, palm oil plantations continue to fuel rainforest destruction in Indonesia. Why? One of the main reasons is that some palm oil producing companies are still resisting changes to business-as-usual. These palm oil giants hide behind complicated supply chains, shell companies and their own anonymity.

Companies that use palm oil to make everything from cookies and candy to shampoos and detergents have listened to people like you and pledged to make the palm oil they buy deforestation-free. Despite years of these pledges, palm oil plantations continue to fuel rainforest destruction in Indonesia.

Why? One of the main reasons is that some palm oil producing companies are still resisting changes to business-as-usual. These palm oil giants hide behind complicated supply chains, shell companies and their own anonymity.

Greenpeace is working hard to change that. In our latest Palm Oil Alert Greenpeace exposes the insidious operations behind Indofood, one of Indonesia’s biggest palm oil companies and partner of PepsiCo and Nestlé in the production of snack food products in Indonesia.

Indofood is part of the Salim Group, a conglomerate that profits from its murky ownership structure and lack of accountability. The problems it has been trying to hide are not limited to continued rainforest destruction, as documented by Aidenvironment. This sprawling constellation of companies have been linked to serious social conflict problems including the use of child labor in its plantations, human rights violations and exploitation of workers.

A complaint was filed by Indonesian labor rights advocacy organization OPPUK, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and International Labor Relations Forum (ILRF) to raise these serious allegations. The Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an entity responsible for setting palm oil production rules and standards verified the allegations presented by the NGOs and has upheld the complaint.

Image from Rainforest Action Network report ‘The Human Cost of Conflict Palm Oil’ detailing child labor in Indofood subsidiary PT Lonsum: ‘[a] young kernet worker pushes a heavy load of fresh fruit bunches on Indofood’s plantation’. 
© Rainforest Action Network

 After close to two years, Indofood has continued to contest allegations and claim that more proof is needed despite the RSPO’s assessment that corroborates the claims of the NGOs. The company continues to fail to cooperate with the RSPO complaint process and deny its culpability.

We are asking that brand companies sourcing from Indofood and all holdings under Salim Group to enforce their own policies and suspend relationships with these negligent suppliers until they are able to show the sourcing of palm oil free of deforestation, peat degradation, and exploitation.

Diana Ruiz

By Diana Ruiz

Diana Ruiz is a palm oil campaigner for Greenpeace USA.

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