Jakarta— The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has threatened to suspend Goodhope Asia Holdings Ltd, a controversial palm oil company run by the RSPO Vice President Edi Suhardi. Goodhope has been accused by NGOs and local communities of illegal deforestation and human rights abuses in Papua.
This follows a joint complaint by Greenpeace, FPP, Pusaka and EIA last month. Last year, Papuan NGO Pusaka lodged a formal complaint against Goodhope on behalf of local people, claiming that the company had taken their land without consent and destroyed their sago farms.
Several major palm oil traders, including Wilmar International, Archer Daniels Midlands and Musim Mas, are believed to have supplied Goodhope’s palm oil to international brands including Nestlé, Reckitt Benckiser, PepsiCo, P&G, General Mills and Unilever.
“After sitting on its hands for months, the RSPO has finally confirmed Goodhope’s operations are rotten to the core. This is a wake up call for the market. Wilmar International and many other traders have been far too complacent. They kept insisting that Goodhope was on the road to reform even as its bulldozers were clearing rainforest in Papua,” said Annisa Rahmawati, Senior Forest Campaigner at Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
The RSPO has issued a ‘stop work order’ covering seven Goodhope concessions in Indonesia, noting that its environmental assessments were ‘poor quality’ and that Goodhope had failed to explain how it had obtained the consent of local communities to develop its plantations.
The RSPO has ordered Goodhope to revise environmental assessments for all seven plantations and threatened to suspend or expel the company if it fails to do so. The first two assessments must be revised by the end of July 2017, with others to follow.
“The RSPO’s actions offer a template that traders and their customers must follow. It has given Goodhope clear deadlines and will suspend or expel the company if it fails to deliver. Wilmar and other traders must now publish their own time-bound milestones for Goodhope and other destructive palm oil companies to meet and exclude any suppliers that refuse to reform,” said Annisa.
Sol Gosetti, Greenpeace Indonesia Forest Campaign, Mobile:+447807352020, firstname.lastname@example.org