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Wilmar commits to end Indonesian forest destruction

The world's largest palm oil trader, Wilmar International, which supplies to hundreds of high street brands has announced that it has committed to a ‘no deforestation’ policy.

The new policy means that Wilmar, which supplies household brands like Gillette, Imperial Leather and Dettol, will stop trading palm oil bought from companies that are destroying the rainforest.

The change in its procurement policy follows years of pressure from Greenpeace and other NGOs which have pressurised the company to adopt a more ethical and sustainable approach to the production of palm oil.

Richard George, forest campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “Over half of the products on our supermarket shelves have palm oil - yet many companies simply aren’t doing enough to ensure that the palm oil they use doesn’t come at the expense of the rainforest. If the world’s largest palm oil trader can commit to protect these forests, then household brands like Gillette and Dettol have no excuse not to make their own commitments to protect Indonesia’s forests and tigers.

Over the last seven years, Greenpeace has repeatedly exposed Wilmar’s role in buying palm oil grown illegally in national parks.

Bustar Maitar, head of the Indonesia forest campaign at Greenpeace International added: “Wilmar’s policy shows that the sector has a massive problem, and while this policy is great news for forests and tigers, its success will be judged by Wilmar’s actions to implement and enforce it. Our challenge to Wilmar is this: will it now immediately stop buying from companies such as the Ganda Group, which is closely linked to Wilmar and is involved in ongoing forest clearance, illegal peatland development and social conflict.”

The palm oil sector is the greatest single cause of deforestation in Indonesia. Ministry of Forestry maps show that Indonesia is losing some 620,000ha of rainforest every year between 2009-2011. Palm oil’s expansion into New Guinea and Africa is already threatening forests, according to Greenpeace.


Picture credit: © Johanna Goodyear | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Global | Deforestation

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