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  • Cargill Demands Answers from Indonesian Palm Oil Supplier

    2010 - 04.07

    Cargill has become the latest US multinational food company to demand answers from the Indonesian palm oil giant Sinar Mas regarding claims that it is destroying forests rich in carbon and wildlife.

    In recent months in response to protests by Greenpeace image conscious buyers Unilever and Nestle have dropped the company as a supplier. Cargill is more cautious or is at least willing to give Sinar Mas the benefit of the doubt and have asked them to respond to Greenpeace’s allegations. They have also asked the industrial body Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to investigate these claims.

    “Cargill is keenly aware about the allegations made in December 2009 by Greenpeace about illegal forest clearance and the Indonesian palm oil company, Sinar Mas,” it said on its website.

    “When we became aware of the Greenpeace report we contacted Sinar Mas’s senior management and we have communicated to them that we are looking to them to address the issues in the Greenpeace report. Additionally, we urged the RSPO board to review this issue. We are pleased the RSPO Board has instructed the RSPO secretariat to get a response from Sinar Mas to the allegations in the Greenpeace report.”

    Answers are expected by the company at the end of this month.

    “If the RSPO validates the allegations of improper land conversion or illegal planting in deep peat land as alleged in the Greenpeace report and Sinar Mas does not take corrective action, we will delist them as a supplier,” it added.

    Daud Dharsono, Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology (SMART) president director said the company was in the process of verifying Greenpeace’s report.

    “We are in touch with Cargill to assure them that we do not develop on high carbon stock and high conservation value areas,” he said.

    Indonesia is considered the third largest emitter of greenhouse gas in the world and that isn’t down to car exhaust fumes but due to the rapid clearing of vast tracts of Indonesian forests for palm oil plantations.

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