Wilmar claims to have made significant progress, environmental NGOs disagree
JAKARTA (foresthints.news) - Singapore-based Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm-oil trader, claims that it has made significant progress with the implementation of its no-deforestation policy over the past two years.
However, Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and Greenomics Indonesia dispute the claim. According to the three NGOs, the Wilmar supply chain continues to be affected by deforestation and the company continues to have a long way to go before it can deliver on its commitments, including those given as part of its no-deforestation policy.
In a press release, Greenpeace Indonesia Forest Campaigner Annisa Rahmawati stated that there was no doubt that the pace of deforestation in Indonesia continued to accelerate and that Wilmar was unable to prove that its suppliers were not responsible for the increasing rate of forest destruction.
"Wilmar have also failed to make significant progress in eliminating social conflict within its supply chain," Annisa said.
Gemma Tillack, RAN's Agribusiness Campaign Director, also disagreed strongly with the Wilmar progress report.
She said that the Wilmar progress report actually revealed that Wilmar had failed to eliminate rainforest destruction, climate pollution and egregious human rights violations. In fact, Gemma said, the Wilmar progress report came as a major disappointment.
"It's clear that Wilmar's efforts to break its links to controversial practices are out of step with the expectations of consumers across the globe," she said.
Gemma added that the progress report lacked a clear deadline for the achievement of 100% responsible supply chains.
As with Greenpeace and RAN, Greenomics stated that the Wilmar progress report failed to reflect significant progress, notwithstanding the Wilmar claims. This was because the implementation of Wilmar's no-deforestation policy over the last two years made it clear that the company’s supply chain continued to be strongly associated with deforestation in Indonesia.
"Greenomics reports account for nearly 50% of the grievance reports that are regularly updated by Wilmar. All of these Greenomics reports indicate that Wilmar has been very weak in cleaning up its supply chain from deforestation. The monitoring of the implementation of the Wilmar policy has also been very weak. So, it’s obviously very strange if Wilmar claims to have made significant progress," Greenomics Executive Director Vanda Mutia Dewi told foresthints.news on Friday (Jan 29) in Jakarta.
On the last page of the Wilmar progress report, Wilmar's Chief Sustainability Officer, Jeremy Goon, writes that “Wilmar has dedicated significant resources over the last two years to realizing our goal of removing deforestation, peat and human rights abuses from our operations and external supply chain.”