Thu, 25 Mar 2010

From: JakChat

By KuKuKaChu
Greenpeace Urges Nestle Cut All Sinar Mas Connections

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Greenpeace Southeast Asia said that contract cancellation with one of Indonesia’s largest palm oil producer Sinar Mas is not enough and the food producer have to cut itschain supply related to Sinar Mas.

“Cancellation of direct contract with Sinar Mas by Nestle is not enough. They have to stop purchasing Sinar Mas products from third parties like cargill and IOI,” Greenpeace’s Forest Campaigner for South East Asia Bustar Maitar wrote in the group’s release on Wednesday (24/3).

The release came after Cargill said a few days earlier, that the company is considering cutting it ties with Sinar Mas but will not do so before Sinar Mas post itscomments on the rainforest destruction allegation.

It was a chain reaction to Greenpeace’s attack on Nestle and Sinar Mas last week, accusing Sinar Mas as the biggestrainforest destructor in Indonesia.

The group also called for President SusiloBambnag Yudhoyono to impose moratorium on forest exploitation to curb destruction rate on indonesia’s forest. It said Indonesia recorded the fastest forest destruction among other countries with rainforest, withabout 74 million hectares razed in more than half a century.

Sinar Mas tried to block Greenpeace campaigns and media coverage on its activities which saw a brief detention of a reporter with a Jakarta-based KBR68H news radio earlier this month.


Thu, 25 Mar 2010

Cargill, the world’s largest trader of agricultural commodities, has become the third company to reconsider its relationship with a top Indonesian palm oil supplier over allegations it is tearing down protected forests to make way for plantations.

Demand for palm oil has soared in recent years due to its use as a biofuel and in food and household products. Indonesia and Malaysia account for the vast majority of global output.
Greenpeace report in full - Mar-24

Cargill said it would stop buying from Sinar Mas if allegations of improper land conversion or illegal planting in deep peatland forests were confirmed. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, a certification body, is investigating.

The review was prompted by a Greenpeace report published in December on alleged illegal land-clearing activities by Sinar Mas, which the company has denied. Sinar Mas said it aimed to “continuously preserve biodiversity” and was confident the contracts would be reinstated after the review.

The report was accompanied by an online campaign that targeted Nestl’s use of unsustain-able palm oil in its products.

Nestl said it would switch suppliers, while Unilever, the world’s largest buyer of palm oil, scrapped a $33m contract with Sinar Mas after Greenpeace published the report.

Dorab Mistry, director of Godrej International, a London-based trading company, said other companies might follow because it would be beneficial for their images to spend $10 a tonne more to buy environmentally friendly palm oil and not be associated with deforestation.

But, he added: “I think [Greenpeace’s tactics] are extreme measures, and they only make the Indonesians more defensive.”

The country’s forests are the largest and most biologically diverse after the Amazon basin, and their destruction on Borneo and Sumatra has made Indonesia the third-largest emitter of carbon after the US and China.

Deforestation by palm oil producers is considered the largest threat to endangered wildlife and native plants in Indonesia, but the industry is also a major source of wealth and employment. The country sold 20.8m tonnes of palm oil in 2009, up 7.6 per cent on 2008 and nearly 50 per cent higher than in 2004.

Producers in Malaysia are also feeling the pressure. On Wednesday, Finnish refiner Neste Oil said it would investigate whether IOI , its supplier, had cleared land illegally on Malaysian Borneo following allegations by Friends of the Earth.