January 9, 2019

'Beyond NDPE' measures still tied to peat drainage via Apical

JAKARTA ( - In the first seven days of 2019, one of the suppliers to the Apical (Asian Agri/RGM)Mulia Sawit Agro Lestari (MSAL), has continued to wipe out peat forests which are home to Indonesia’s critically-endangered Bornean orangutan for palm oil expansion. 

PT Persada Era Agro Kencana (PEAK), an MSAL palm oil company whose concession lies in the Katingan regency of Central Kalimantan - one of Indonesia’s peat restoration priority provinces - has proceeded to bulldoze the location’s peat forests. 

Recently, at the end of December 2018, reported once again on how this Apical supplier was relentlessly devastating the Bornean orangutan-inhabited peat forests in its concession. 

As it turns out, these destructive practices on the part of the Apical supplier are still underway in the new year, with the habitat of the Bornean orangutan subjected to ongoing destruction.

By the time this news report was posted, there was no progress update on the Apical website with regard to its promise to monitor the recommendation it had made to MSAL about the ending of land clearing. 

The Planet Explorer images below, prepared by the  spatial team, demonstrate how the MSAL company - which is linked to major palm oil buyers and traders including through Apical - persists in razing to the ground the area’s Bornean orangutan-inhabited peat forests. 

Wilmar & two supporting signatories

The ongoing removal of these Bornean orangutan-inhabited peat forests has highlighted the involvement of the supply chain of Mondelez, the maker of oreo cookies, in that this food giant continues to source palm oil from Apical. 

Mondelez is one of the supporting signatories to the joint statement issued by Wilmar and AidEnvironment in early December 2018 concerning the creation of a deforestation-free palm oil supply chain (‘beyond NDPE policy’).

However, it is not only Mondelez whose supply of palm oil is tainted. The supply chain of Wilmar is also linked to the devastation of the Bornean orangutan’s habitat seeing that it too sources palm oil from Apical. 

Unilever, another of the supporting signatories to the joint statement, also lists Apical as one of its palm oil suppliers.

As such, the ongoing eradication of the Bornean orangutan’s habitat by the Apical supplier MSAL also casts light on how Unilever’s supply chain is not yet free of deforestation and peat drainage, even after signing the aforementioned joint statement.  

This case confirms that despite Wilmar’s new policy measures, the supply chains of this company and other supporting signatories to its joint statement remain linked to new deforestation and peat drainage.

It is not only the supply chains of these companies which are implicated in such harmful practices. Another NDPE company, Nestlé, through ADM and Bunge, also continues to source palm oil from MSAL, while Cargill’s mill list also includes MSAL and Apical among its suppliers.