Wilmar International: Palm Oil production in Indonesia

With a total planted area of 242,403 hectares in Malaysia and Indonesia, the Singapore based, Wilmar, is one of the largest palm oil plantation owners, and the world’s largest palm oil and biodiesel producer. In Europe, companies like Unilever, Nestlé, and Procter and Gamble are its main customers.[1]

Wilmar and its customers have been targeted by different environmental groups [2] around the world for their part in the massive and often illegal clearing and burning of peat land and forests in Indonesia. Every year, Indonesia loses 1.2 % of it forests for products including palm oil, paper and timber.[3] Indonesia’s National Climate Change Council identified the palm oil sector as one of the key drivers of natural forest loss and peat land degradation in 2010.[4]

The enormous monoculture that Wilmar’s oil palm plantations create, not only destroys
pristine forests, but also dries out peat swamps, threatening already endangered species like tigers and orang-utans, intensifi es climate change and disrupts the livelihoods of indigenous communities. Whilst many major Indonesian producers are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), this round table has not been able to ensure that producers break the link between deforestation and palm oil.[5]

Other NGO reports state that Wilmar forced Bidin natives from the Sumatra Islands to leave
their land in order to make space for oil palm plantations. Wilmar is also accused of having
destroyed the homes of the Bidin.[6]

[1] FoE Netherlands, Buyers and financiers of the Wilmar Group, 2006.
Wilmar SUSTAINABILITY REPORT 2011.

[2] www.robinwood.de/Newsdetails.13+M55ead9b1d73.0.html

[3] Greenpeace India, Frying the forest, How India’s use of palm oil is having a devastating impact on Indonesia’s rainforests, tigers and the global climate, 2012.

[4] DNPI (2010). Op.cit. Section 1:16, 18, 19, 20

[5] Greenpeace India, Frying the forest, How India’s use of palm oil is having a devastating impact on Indonesia’s rainforests, tigers and the global climate, 2012.

[6] http://www.regenwald.org/news/4027/gewalt-in-indonesienunilever-schert-sich-nicht-um-palmoel-opfer

Affected topics
  • Human and Labour Rights
  • Environmental and Climate protection
Directly and indirectly (through shareholding) involved companies Indirect investors through shareholding

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