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Saying No To Palm Oil In The U.S.
by Tomas DiFiore
Sunday Jun 12th, 2016 8:36 AM
"Many major consumer goods firms now delegate responsibility for their sourcing policies to the RSPO and, by extension, to these auditors. If the auditors are engaging in box-ticking and even colluding to cover up unsustainable practices, then products will get to the supermarket shelves that are tainted with human trafficking, rights abuses and the destruction of biodiversity. the world's only global palm oil certification system - meant to ensure ensure sustainability, human rights, labor standards, respect for the law and environmental protection in the sector - does no such thing.” Throughout 2015, many research papers and reports challenged the myth of certification and the efficacy of voluntary company commitments. Read on... "Illegal Palm Oil Fresh Fruit Bunches And Traceability" published in "No One Is Safe" April 6, 2016 WWF-Indonesia, Eyes on The Forest and Friends of the Earth. Boycott Palm Oil at the marketplace store shelves.
Saying No To Palm Oil In The U.S.

Eschew aesthetics, there aren't any “No Deforestation” commitments. “No-deforestation” has been supplanted with industry's use of “Zero-net deforestation across the landscape mosaic” or, in conversation as Zero deforestation, and is often used interchangeably with “Deforestation Free” on packaging and commodity PR pitches.

“Loans and bonds backing palm oil expansion have been steadily increasing over the past five years, amounting to tens of billions of dollars per year,” says Tom Picken of the Rainforest Action Network. “This has enabled a surge of palm oil planting across the Congo and Amazon, as well as continued expansion onto the peat forests of Indonesia and Malaysia, destroying habitats and fueling conflict, with local communities forced off their lands.”

“Unless prices reflect real costs and risks, and until regulation forces responsibility, commodity markets will fail and people will suffer as pressure on land and resources grows globally.”

The Palm Oil industry argues that oil palm plantings and palm oil exports provide developing nations a path out of poverty, or at least a wage. More loosely defined is the economic contribution of the palm oil industry to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of producing 'countries'.

Global acquisitions of vast landscapes, investment debt-laden cash buyouts of established plantations and existing mills, refineries, new mills with increased capacity, and portfolios of palm oil derivatives, are sacrificing ecosystems and forcing species extinction. Transmigration policies provide the cheap labor, including child slave labor, and new smallholder settlements diminish Indigenous access to ancestral lands.

Corporate Deforestation Commitments And Responsible Palm Oil Production

The palm oil industry landscape has changed significantly. “Using fire for land acquisition and clearing for oil palm generates a cashflow of at least US $3,077 per hectare in three years.” (CIFOR - West Java-based Center for International Forestry Research)

The “Global Palm Oil & Derivatives Market” is expected to reach $130.2 billion by 2022. “On Feb 25, 2016, Acute Market Reports announced the addition of Global Palm Oil & Derivatives Market. According to Stratistics MRC, the Global Palm Oil & Derivatives market is estimated at $80.3 billion in 2015 and is poised to reach $130.2 billion by 2022.”

“Growing demand for vegetable oil, low cost benefits, expanding applications of palm oil in edible and non-edible sectors are the factors driving the market growth. On the other hand, the large amount of aging palm trees, yielding lesser volumes of palm oil has restrained the market. The major challenges include competition from soybean oil and environmental issues related to palm oil plantation.” (Acute Market Reports)

8 Orangutans Die Everyday Because Of Palm Oil Deforestation

In early 2013, World Wildlife Fund, the primary founder and key stakeholder in the RSPO, released a statement that RSPO certification can no longer be considered an adequate measure to ensure sustainability.

The RSPO itself states that it does not rule out the destruction of rainforest land for new oil palm plantations. Only “High Conservation Value Areas” (HCVAs) may not be cleared.

BIG news June 3, 2016
PanEco resigns from RSPO over ‘sheer level of inaction’

“One of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s disgruntled NGO members officially called it quits on the organization last week, resigning over what it deemed the RSPO’s failure to reign in an industry tainted by environmental destruction and human rights abuses. The PanEco Foundation, which is known for protecting orangutans in Indonesia, also cited “the purposeful stifling of the RSPO by its members and administration, whom for whatever reasons are increasingly allowing for it to be weakened by the day.” PanEco was one of 33 nonprofits to have joined the RSPO, the world’s largest association for ethical palm oil production. The rest of its 2,819 members consist of planters and refiners, consumer goods manufacturers, and banks. Producer members can earn the right to market their palm oil as certified sustainable, or as CSPO, under the roundtable’s green label.”

“The PanEco Foundation, which is known for protecting orangutans in Indonesia, also cited the purposeful stifling of the RSPO by its members and administration, whom for whatever reasons are increasingly allowing for it to be weakened by the day.”

Jago Wadley, of the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency, which has dealt extensively with the RSPO’s complaints system but is not a member, puts little stock in the roundtable’s ability to guarantee sustainable palm oil production. We applaud PanEco for prioritizing its principles over and above the RSPO’s efforts to muzzle it, and similarly challenge the RSPO to reform in ways that promote the purpose of the organization rather than rabidly seeking increased market share in ways that undermine its goals.”

In The U.S. Restaurant Brands International has crafted a One Percent Commitment level for continued deforestation for palm oil. The RBI 'Sustainable Sourcing Policy' applies only to “all palm oil sourced by Restaurant Brands International and branded products with greater than 1% palm oil / palm kernel oil as an ingredient.”

Restaurant Brands International goes on to state; “to demonstrate progress toward this long-term goal, we developed the following milestones: “By the end of 2015, all palm oil sourced will support the production of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified sustainable palm oil through the purchase of GreenPalm certificates. By 2020, all palm oil sourced as well as palm oil and palm kernel oil used as an ingredient in our branded products will be from suppliers who can verify sustainable production.”

I know I've tired of new products in stores as staff defer to company or distributor responses to consumer concerns of deforestation and devastation for palm oil. Why do they give out useless information one piece at a time?

Food labels, read between the lines.

Investment in global production facilities, corporate product divisions, mergers, company owned international land banks and national laws interpreted through the decentralized rule of internal states, International Trade Agreements and market solutions in certification schemes – are what you don't see on the way to the cash register at the grocery checkout.

“Dawn Foods embraces the principles of RSPO and we are conscious of our responsibility.”

“As a company committed to Sustainable Palm Oil, Dawn Foods Europe has been a RSPO member since October 2011. And we are very proud that as of the end of 2015 all operations within Dawn Foods (Europe) are certified Mass Balance. Which means that we are sourcing and selling RSPO certified palm oil standard in Mass Balance quality and with increasing number of Segregated quality from 2016 on. Dawn Foods (Europe) production facilities are in Evesham (United Kingdom), Manage (Belgium), Darmstadt (Germany), Palmela (Portugal), Erquinghem (France), and in Steenbergen and Groningen (the Netherlands).”

“For our operations in North America we are working towards mass balance.”

Mass Balance Palm Oil - “Many companies are buying mass balance RSPO-certified palm oil (which allows mixing of RSPO-certified palm oil and non-RSPO certified palm oil) and claiming they are sourcing 100% sustainable palm oil.” (RAN; “Conflict Palm Oil”)

Mass Balance Palm Oil - “Where Certified sustainable palm oil and non-certified palm oil is mixed to avoid the costs of keeping the two separate. There is no guarantee that the end product contains certified sustainable palm oil. However, this option supports certified sustainable palm oil through mixing, and the oil is consumed somewhere by someone.”
(National Geographic)

Mass Balance Palm Oil - “Mixing of sustainable and conventional palm oil allowed if monitored.” (RSPO)

Additionally; corporate policy commitments from brand name companies, have explained away the meaning of zero deforestation in the fine print of the zero net-deforestation scheme.

“Global name brands are taking advantage of the cheaper Green Palm certificate and using it for long term supply, rather than making the vital switch to 100 percent certified sustainable palm oil.” Consumers are losing faith!

“Separate from the physical supply chain, RSPO certified plantations convert their certified tonnage into certificates on the GreenPalm Market. Product manufacturers purchase certificates, offsetting their physical oil usage. GreenPalm certificates are a kind of green offset trading scheme which guarantees that a tonnage of palm oil/derivatives equivalent to the tonnage of conventional palm oil a company actually uses in it's products, has been produced somewhere, from RSPO Certified plantations.” (This is a hugely controversial mechanism.)

Another cogent view is presented by Magdalena Antuña and published on May 18, 2015 states: “Certified Sustainable Palm Oil means one of four things, as defined by the RSPO.”

“Please, let’s retire the phrase Certified Sustainable Palm Oil once and for all. Or at least, narrow the practices that can fall under the ‘CSPO umbrella’. When you write your next e-mail asking about the sustainability of someone’s palm-oil, show your knowledge and use terms like ‘segregated‘ and ‘identity preserved.’ Ask if they can trace the source of their palm-oil from the plantation to the mill to the refinery to you. This is the most desirable form of certified palm-oil. It is, as the name suggests, guaranteed to be from one, singular identifiable source, kept away from unsustainable conflict palm-oil throughout the supply chain.”

A Nov 2015 report by EIA and Grassroots finds that "Auditing firms are fundamentally failing to identify and mitigate unsustainable practices by oil palm firms. "Not only are they conducting woefully substandard assessments but the evidence indicates that in some cases they are colluding with plantation companies to disguise violations of the RSPO Standard. The systems put in place to monitor these auditors have utterly failed."

The report is titled, 'Who watches the watchmen? Auditors and the breakdown of oversight in the RSPO', and includes a series of case studies that highlight the failures in the RSPO system.

It is articulated in “Sustainable Palm Oil? RSPO's Greenwashing And Fraudulent Audits Exposed” by Chris Lang for REDD Monitor November 19, 2015, that: “Oversight Of RSPO Is Provided By NGOs And Communities.”

“The allegations detailed in the new report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Malaysia-based NGO Grassroots cast doubt on the credibility of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s (RSPO) network of auditors - a vital component of the organization’s certification process and its primary contact with oil palm growers on the ground. The report, titled, 'Who Watches The Watchmen? Auditors And The Breakdown Of Oversight In The RSPO,' uncovered evidence of RSPO-approved auditors conducting “substandard assessments” on repeated occasions and, at times, apparently colluding with oil palm companies to cover up serious violations of the organization’s standards.”

The way RSPO deals with complaints is not reassuring: "There is a wealth of evidence to show the complaints process has failed to provide acceptable outcomes to complainants and there are concerns with conflicts of interest, with companies that have been subject to complaints joining the Complaints Panel even while the problems raised remain unresolved. Some complaints have dragged on for five or more years without resolution." The report notes that auditors have made matters worse through further substandard assessments and conflicts of interest.

"The RSPO stands or falls on the credibility of its auditing process but in far too many instances auditors are greenwashing unsustainable practices and even environmental crimes.”

"Many major consumer goods firms now delegate responsibility for their sourcing policies to the RSPO and, by extension, to these auditors. If the auditors are engaging in box-ticking and even colluding to cover up unsustainable practices, then products will get to the supermarket shelves that are tainted with human trafficking, rights abuses and the destruction of biodiversity."

“This report exposes an unfortunate truth: the world's only global palm oil certification system - meant to ensure ensure sustainability, human rights, labour standards, respect for the law and environmental protection in the sector - does no such thing.”

As bad as that is, it gets worse. Throughout 2015, many research papers and reports challenged the myth of certification and the efficacy of voluntary company commitments.

In early 2013, World Wildlife Fund, the primary founder and key stakeholder in the RSPO, released a statement that RSPO certification can no longer be considered an adequate measure to ensure sustainability.

And on April 06, 2016 - Eyes On The Forest released the astonishing report “No One Is Safe”

“No One Is Safe” demonstrates how Crude Palm Oil (CPO) “tainted by illegally grown Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB) from government protected areas deep inside Sumatra entered the supply chains of several of the most well-known palm oil suppliers in the world. Eyes on the Forest (EoF) investigations found subsidiaries of the Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) group, Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) of the Sinar Mas group (SMG), Wilmar, Musim Mas and many other smaller companies receiving illegal fresh fruit bunch (FFB) or crude palm oil (CPO) tainted with illegal FFB. Trucks with illegal palm fruit drove up to 128 km and spent up to 5 days on the road, long and far enough to reach dozens of CPO mills along the way. Given the small scale of the investigations, EoF believes its study identified only the tip of an iceberg. The issue appears to be systemic and the majority of the world’s palm oil supplies may be tainted with FFB illegally grown in some of the last remaining habitats of critically endangered species like tigers, elephants, and orangutan.”

Illegal Palm Oil Fresh Fruit Bunches And Traceability

EoF monitors the status of the remaining natural forests in Sumatra's Province of Riau and
disseminates the information worldwide. View full color maps, truck routes from illegal plantations to mills, key GIS coordinates attached to photos and any location described, all images carefully photographed, detailed research into global suppliers supply chain traceability reports, satellite imagery, legal structures and transparency. For photos, maps and more news on “Eyes on the Forest”, visit:

Indonesia’s Forestry Minister admitted in 2014 that 50%, or two million hectares, of all oil palm plantation in Riau is “illegal or has no permit.”

“EoF found four RSPO Supply Chain Certificate holders from three groups to be involved in the trade of tainted CPO from mills which purchased illegal FFB. Companies who do not want to be exposed to the legal risks of knowingly dealing with tainted CPO should be able to turn to facilities which are certified to only buy FFB from known and certified sources (RSPO Identity Preserved (IP) or Segregated (SG) Supply Chain Models). However, today, most CPO mills in Indonesia do not have this certification.”

Nowhere Is Safe
Tesso Nilo National Park was originally 83,068 hectares
By 2011 deforestation had consumed 35,000 hectares
Less than 15,000 hectares of natural forest were left standing by December 2015

In 2011 and 2012, WWF-Indonesia investigated the supply chain of illegally grown oil palm fresh fruit bunches (FFB) from inside Tesso Nilo National Park and two adjacent logging concessions in Riau Province, Sumatra, to crude palm oil (CPO) mills and refineries operated by the world's largest palm oil trader Wilmar.

“The 83,068 hectares national park provided vital habitat for the critically endangered Sumatran elephant and tiger, but its forest cover had declined to only 18% by end 2015 due to rampant illegal encroachment. Tesso Nilo National Park is just one of many examples. By 2011, encroachment in Tesso Nilo National Park had reached 43% or 35,416 hectares, of which more than 15,000 hectares had been planted with oil palm. Since then, encroachment escalated, leaving less than 15,000 hectares of natural forest standing by December 2015.”

“As satellites detect new deforestation in our study areas, they also often detect fire hotspots.
EoF compared historical deforestation (up to December 2015) and location of hotspots (between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2015) and found them to be well correlated. No hotspots showed up where forest cover remained or where oil palm and/or pulpwood concessions had been planted long ago. Oil palm was a key driver of fires far beyond our study area. EoF found that 22% of all hotspots detected in Riau between July and October 2015 (4,545) occurred in oil palm concessions, most of them located on peat.”

“Greenomics’ recent analysis showed that nearly 1.3 million hectares of Riau’s peatland, protected by the Government of Indonesia’s “logging moratorium” (of 2011-2012 and renewed yearly which much hoopla) has already been planted with oil palm.”

Traceability Only Goes So Far In A No-deforestation Policy

“All companies in the EoF report (except Musim Mas) are certified with The Forest Trust (TFT) which works with palm oil member companies to establish 100% traceability.”

“Musim Mas handles about 18 percent of the world’s palm oil and was the last of the big palm oil companies that hadn’t agreed to fight against land burning, peatland clearing and human rights abuses. The announcement by Musim Mas came one year after Wilmar International, the biggest player in the palm-oil game, agreed to take a stand on the issue. Since then, all the other major corporations have followed suit. Now 96 percent of palm oil production is covered by a no-deforestation policy.”

Wilmar has made the following remarks apparently softening their commitments to track FFB supplies to plantation level: “There are ongoing discussions in the market about the definitions of traceability and debates on whether traceability back to mill would suffice or should the products be traced right back to their origins, namely plantations.”

Wilmar states “The definition of traceable to plantation, or fresh fruit bunch (FFB) traceability, is also the subject of considerable debate. As noted previously, Wilmar has focused its attention on traceability to mill, because the mill is a good indicator of the approximate location of its suppliers. […] While obtaining GPS coordinates and/or maps of each FFB supplier is an objective, it is not the immediate priority. The priority for Wilmar is to engage with mill owners who can reach their own FFB suppliers to ensure the process of transformation can begin across the entire supply shed.”

(ed note) It is only an immediate priority that indigenous forest peoples describe their long held community lands and tribal use areas with GPS coordinates and accurate maps to contest land grabs.

In the EoF report, it was recorded that: “Nineteen CPO mills received illegal FFB from five protected forest areas - 10 final destinations of CPO trucks followed from these mills.”

Industry leader GAR states: “We recognize that there is scope for debate on what an acceptable definition of FFB traceability is. Our approach is to target this basic level of traceability simply as a means to quickly identify the issues to focus on as we look to bring about policy compliance across the whole supply sheds of our refineries.” This approach is very problematic as for GAR has already taken 4 years and the company only now announced that it is developing an action plan to achieve traceability to the plantation level for this supply and this action plan will be published at the end of Q1 2016”.


WWF/EoF investigations showed that trucks with illegal Fresh Fruit Bunches traveled between 13 to 128 km (average 49km) for 1.5 hours to close to 5 days to reach their destination CPO mills. 17 of the 36 Chain of Custody (CoCs) reports lasted more than one day, more than enough time to reach most of Riau’s almost 200 CPO mills. With such a big range in distance and time, the theoretical FFB catchment area for a CPO mill is huge.

“Companies who do not want to be exposed to the legal risks of knowingly dealing with tainted CPO should be able to turn to facilities which are certified to only buy FFB from known and certified sources (RSPO Identity Preserved (IP) or Segregated (SG) Supply Chain Models. However, today, most CPO mills in Indonesia are not.”

“None of the four facilities found to be implicated in the trade of tainted CPO has been certified to do this. All are certified only for the Mass Balance (MB) supply chain system, which allows a facility to mix RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) with non-certified oil without separating the two. Because of this, the purchased Mass Balance product is likely tainted with illegal FFB.”

“GreenPalm certificates from certified RSPO growers that use another RSPO Supply Chain Model, 'Book & Claim', also do not ensure the actual presence of CSPO or lack of presence in the mix of unsustainable or illegal palm oil in the actual oil purchased. Because of this, the purchased GreenPalm Book & Claim certificates oil could be based on 100% illegal FFB.”

EoF has published data on 196 crude palm oil (CPO) mills in Central Sumatra, chains of custody of illegal FFB and tainted CPO to CPO mills and refineries or bulking stations.

Oil Palm Crime “No One Is Safe”

Eyes on the Forest (EoF) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
April 2016 “No One Is Safe”
12 MB 58 pages

In 2014, a Forest Trends report estimated the rate of illegality in all palm concessions in Indonesia at 80% based on a compilation of various governmental and NGO audits. The general lack of governance and enforcement across the country encourages large-scale illegal forest conversion into illegal oil palm plantations.

Dancing Umbrellas

(Pub May 2015) “Indonesian President Joko Widodo reaffirmed his commitment to climate leadership this week by renewing Indonesia’s national forest moratorium, which prohibits new licenses to clear key forest areas. While the environmental benefits are well-recognized, the move should also be hailed as a win for businesses and local producers.”

And it sounds like this - “Extending Indonesia’s Forest Moratorium Is a Win for Business”’s-forest-moratorium-win-business

Problem 1) It never really was a moratorium, but it is renewed each year as a talking point for industry. Problem 2) Deforestation more than doubled under the May, 2011 Moratorium through to 2013.

And, history would show that “Indonesia’s Rate Of Deforestation Doubled Under The Moratorium” (Chris Lang, December 11, 2013 Source: REDD-Monitor) “A recently published study revealed that the Indonesian government has been telling lies about its rate of forest loss. In the years 2011 and 2012, the rate doubled to about two million hectares per year, compared to previous years.”

Researchers, who were led by the University of Maryland and received help from Google and NASA, published their findings in Science magazine in November 2013.

Part of their work included synthesizing 12 years of satellite data to produce a Global Forest Change map:

A video of a presentation organized by Google’s Earth Outreach is available here:

During the presentation, the lead researcher, Matthew Hansen of the University of Maryland, talks about deforestation in Indonesia: “Indonesia’s the bookend to Brazil, and it has the highest annual increase in forest cover loss over the study period, of around 1,000 square kilometers per year. This is coincident with you know, in 2011 they instituted a deforestation moratorium.”

Strictly speaking, Indonesia’s moratorium never was a “deforestation moratorium” (see link below) it was a moratorium on new concessions. Hansen’s point remains valid. Indonesia’s rate of deforestation has increased since the moratorium was announced. This short video shows the dramatic rate of forest loss in Riau province from 2000-2012. Indonesia’s moratorium never was a deforestation moratorium.

The palm oil industry exclaimed: “The scientists only look at satellite images of areas where logging activities are taking place, without putting the country’s temporary deforestation into consideration. Temporary deforestation is, for example, logging activities which will be restored after the timber harvesting period concludes. They should not classify timber harvesting as forest loss.”

Back on Peninsular Malaysia The Last Rainforest Tree Was Cut

On Penisular Malaysia, in early 2013, the “Last Rainforest Tree” was cut. Well, not THE LAST RAINFOREST TREE, but as quoted in the press at the time, “oil palm plantations have extinguished the last habitat of a rainforest tree in Malaysia.”

Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), a state agency, announced that “the last stands of keruing paya (Dipterocarpus coriaceus) in Peninsular Malaysia were wiped out when Bikam Forest Reserve in Perak was cleared for oil palm plantations. The plantations were established after Bikam was de-gazetted, or re-zoned from a logging concession for conversion to oil palm. More than 450 hectares of forest were cleared.”

Maketab Mohamed, president of the Malaysian Nature Society, told the New Straits Times that experts had warned about the risk of de-gazetting the permanent forest estate for oil palm. "It is indeed a shocking find but this phenomenon did not happen overnight," he was quoted as saying. "The extinction was caused by the act of the state which de-gazetted forest reserves for oil palm plantations over a long period of time."

Vast areas of natural forest in Malaysia have already been cleared for oil palm plantations over the past 30 years, putting a number of plant and animal species at risk. Some scientists have called the crop the "single most immediate threat to the greatest number of species" for the impact expansion has had on habitat of endangered wildlife in Southeast Asia.

Measuring Species And Biodiversity Loss

First Large-Scale Map Of Oil Palm Plantations Reveals Big Environmental Toll
Rhett A. Butler March 07, 2011

"Conversion of peatswamp forests to oil palm led to biodiversity declines of 1% in Borneo (equivalent to four species of forest-dwelling birds), 3.4% in Sumatra (16 species), and 12.1% in Peninsular Malaysia (46 species). Birds were used as a proxy for biodiversity loss.”

“On Peninsular Malaysia, for the Indigenous Orang Asli, RSPO Certification means continued loss of lands and access.” (From the Center For Orang Asli Concerns “Living On The Periphery” in PDF format 13MB 402 pgs)

“There is no clearer indication of how marginalized the Orang Asli are in the larger scheme of things, as in how they are treated in our written laws. This includes the Federal Constitution, where the Orang Asli (or more correctly, 'aborigines', which is the term used in the Federal Constitution) are mentioned in a few places, no more than 4 to be precise.”

“Thus, while Part VI of the Federal Constitution explicitly mentions the need to get the consent from the Natives of Sabah and Sarawak regarding any matters affecting them, it is important to note that this recognition is not extended to the Orang Asli. And while Article 76(2) states that Parliament cannot make any law with respect to matters enumerated in the state list without the consultation of the Malays and Natives of Sabah and Sarawak in the states concerned; again this recognition is not extended to the Orang Asli.”

“The Orang Asli, are not accorded the special position as are the Malays and the Natives of Sabah and Sarawak under Article 153. This is especially so in the case of recognizing and protecting the Orang Asli's customary lands. Hence, while there may be Orang Asli Reserves created, they are in no way similar in the ease of creation, or in their permanency of tenure, or the extent (area-wise) that have been accorded to the Malay Reservations or the native customary lands of the Natives of Sabah and Sarawak.”

From: Talking points presented at the Judicial and Legal Training Institute (ILKAP)'s
National Law Conference on 'Law and Social Order: Current Challenges in Malaysia'
Putrajaya International Convention Center, 11-12 November 2014

Also published in 2014 were several papers from traveling conservationist Sara Green visiting the Orang Asli on Peninsular Malaysia at a time when the tribe was in court against expansion of a palm plantation were soon to be granted an appeal against an eviction notice from their ancestral lands.

Lastly, brought forth by the UN University “Our World” an article of personal accounts, from the Orang Asli (Malay for Original First Peoples) published in 2011 titled: “Displaced Indigenous Malaysians Face Uncertain Future.”

The Orang Asli are Forest People. There is little to no original forest left. But there's palm oil for cooking and baking, and donuts, and chocolate, and cosmetics, and soaps, and yogurts, and household cleaners.

Palm Plantations, or portions thereof may be certified organic, but in the nursery, the Class 1 Toxin - Paraquat is used. Finally, the RSPO Certification scheme has bannned it's use.

Under RSPO Next… “This Certification Upgrade bans use of a toxic pesticide called Paraquat.” Paraquat, a pesticide banned in the European Union (EU), is forbidden under RSPO Next.

Published Feb 16, 2016 - “RSPO Next requires growers to impose a blanket ban on deforestation, burning, and peatland development. Companies must also track greenhouse gas emissions across their operations and reduce them over time; stop using a toxic pesticide called Paraquat; protect the employment and human rights of workers; and ensure that the palm oil is traceable back to its plantation.” Paraquat is generally used in palm oil nurseries when in the seedling stage at less than 2 years old.

“Sustainable Palm Oil Certification” The Opaque Transparency

In the “Dirty Business of Palm Oil” we find out how supply chain transparency and the newsworthy divestment of a subsidiary (due to intolerable bad publicity over human rights abuses and conflicts) become an end-run backdoor loophole, exploited by elite class systems of wealth, and very large, deep pocket companies operating on a global scale.

As Wilmar International divested itself of it's problematic subsidiary, Wilmar said that social conflicts 2011-2013 had created an "intolerable situation" and the Ganda Group had since acquired Asiatic Persada. But Ganda owner - Ganda Sitorus is the younger brother of Martua Sitorus, the co-founder of Wilmar International. Ganda Sitorus, himself a former Wilmar employee, has used his own company to create a clearinghouse for troublesome Wilmar subsidiaries that could be a threat to the publicly traded Palm Oil corporation's reputation.”

“Newsweek, in a 2012 green ranking of of the world's 500 largest publicly traded companies; and environmental impacts - ranked Singapore-based Wilmar International, the world's largest palm oil and refining and processing company, at last place, behind Monsanto and mining company Coal India.”

“In mid-April 2014, the Jakarta Post reported that another Wilmar subsidiary had felled a mangrove forest on Borneo for new palm oil plantations. The question of how that move could be compatible with the firm's new policy of "zero deforestation" was left unanswered.”

“Wilmar International Ltd. is the world’s biggest global processor and merchandiser of palm and lauric oils. Established in 1991 by Kuok Khoon Hong of Malaysia and Martua Sitorus from Indonesia, Wilmar now owns some of the largest oil palm plantation companies in the world; it is the largest palm biodiesel manufacturer in the world; and is also a leading source of edible oils and specialty fats and oleochemicals to China, India and the Ukraine, east and southeast Africa. Based in Singapore, Wilmar now operates in more than 20 countries, employing 88,000 people and more than 300 processing plants, according to its website. With its products sold in 50-plus countries, and palm oil present in a vast array of products from fast food, and gourmet ice cream, to cosmetics.”

“There is an inescapable relationship between individual heartbreak and the broken heartedness of the world.” (Miriam Greenspan)

No amount of consumption of new products can fill that void.

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Tomas DiFiore