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Jakarta, 3 April 2020 – Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil trader, has taken a further backward step in implementing its commitment to removing deforestation from its commodity supply chains by resigning from the High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) the most credible and widely supported mechanism by which to identify and protect forested areas in plantation company concession areas.

“It is alarming that Wilmar, given its problematic history, continues to fail on its commitments to implementing No Deforestation. Instead of demonstrating real progress to end fires and deforestation in its supply chains, it has chosen to quit and criticise HCSA.” said Grant Rosoman, Global Forests Solutions Senior Advisor for Greenpeace International.

“Now more than ever we need business to support tools that stop deforestation such as HCSA given that scientists have reported that deforestation and habitat destruction can create the conditions for pandemics such as COVID-19, as well contributing to the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis,” he said.

Wilmar has exited from being a member of the HCSA, having failed to provide evidence that it was actively implementing HCSA [1]. HCSA is a tool for implementing no deforestation in supply chains. It is included in the Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification standards, is being adopted by key palm oil, pulp and paper, rubber and cocoa producers globally, and is supported by the UN Environment Programme, the EU and the French government.[2]

In recent years Greenpeace International has repeatedly exposed Wilmar’s links to deforestation and fires via its suppliers [3] and stopped talks with Wilmar in September 2019 due to its lack of progress on supply chain transformation and transparency.[4]

At the end of 2018 Greenpeace International filed an objection against Wilmar being re-appointed as co-chair of HCSA Executive Committee unless it met the HCSA membership requirements. Wilmar, which had withheld its HCSA membership fees for 2019, was due to be suspended on April 2nd 2020 for non-payment, however, it withdrew its membership that same day.

Contact:

Grant Rosoman, Senior Advisor, Forest Solutions, Greenpeace International, +64-21-428415

Sol Gosetti, International Communications Coordinator, Indonesia Forest Campaign:  [email protected] , +44 (0) 7807352020

Notes

[1]   “Members in plantations and commodity sectors will actively implement the HCS Approach across their own operations, in their supply chains and in investment holdings regardless of stake.” HCSA Code of Conduct for Membership.

[2] Towards zero deforestation; and Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests; and Stratégie Nationale De Lutte Contre La Déforestation Importée

[3] After Rogue Trader, read more in The Final Countdown: Now or never to reform the palm oil industry and in Dying for a Cookie

[4] Greenpeace halts engagement with Wilmar-Unilever-Mondelez over continued failure to take necessary action to cut deforestation from their supply chains