Burger King cancels palm oil contract with rainforest destroyer Sinar Mas

September 2, 2010

Greenpeace welcomes Burger King’s cancellation of its palm oil contracts with one of the worst rainforest destroyers on the planet, Sinar Mas, becoming the first company to do so since the producer’s audit was made public last month.

Sinar Mas’ own audit shows that is has been operating in breach of Indonesian law by clearing peatlands and forests without the required permits.

Responding to the news, Greenpeace South East Asia Forest Campaigner Bustar Maitar said: “Greenpeace welcomes this news from Burger King, which clearly shows that Sinar Mas’ attempts to spin and greenwash the conclusions of its own audit have not worked. Until such a time as Sinar Mas commits to an end to rainforest destruction and peatland protection its other major corporate consumers like Cargill, Pizza Hut and Dunkin’ Donuts should follow Burger King’s lead and remove Sinar Mas from their supply chains.” 
Burger King’s statement, released on Facebook, reads: “We believe the report has raised valid concerns about some of the sustainability practices of Sinar Mas’ palm oil production and its impact on the rainforest. These practices are inconsistent with our corporate responsibility commitments. As a result, we have decided we will no longer purchase palm oil from Sinar Mas or its subsidiaries.” (1) 
By taking this action, Burger King is joining companies like Nestlé, Kraft, and Unilever which have already stopped their direct contracts with Sinar Mas on the grounds of its destructive practices.
This decision is another blow to Sinar Mas, which was publicly reprimanded last week by BSI, which carried out the audit, for having “misreported [the audit] as it has been published and presented”. (2) BSI’s statement showed how Sinar Mas’ palm oil arm wrongly claimed that it “operate[s] responsibly and within the laws” confirming that in eight out of 11 concessions audited, forest clearance was conducted without the necessary environmental permits and that deep peat forest was cleared in breach of Indonesian law. 
“The Indonesian Government must stop groups like Sinar Mas wrecking forests and driving climate change by ensuring the proposed moratorium includes a halt to all forest clearance, including within existing concessions, and ensure immediate protection of all peatlands,” Maitar concluded.
Contacts: Bustar Maitar, [email protected]  +62 813 4466 6135; 
Rolf Skar, [email protected] +1 415 255 9221 ext. 305
For video and stills: contact Melissa Thompson, Greenpeace International Video Desk: + 31 621 296899; John Novis, Greenpeace International Picture Desk: +44 7798 678281
Note to editors:
(1) The Burger King announcement was made on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/notes/burger-king/sinar-mas-decision/148811488472433
(2) The statement is available at http://www.bsigroup.com/en/About-BSI/News-Room/BSI-News-Content/General/Verifying-Greenpeace-Claims-report-BSI-Group-issues-clarification-and-summary-statement/ The audit was conducted by BSI and Control Union, supported by Professors from Bogor University. It is available at: http://www.goldenagri.com.sg/newsroom_verification.php.

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