October 19, 2018

Mars asks ADM to remove Papua deforester from supply chain

( - Mars, a member of the RSPO and TFT, has asked its direct supplier ADM - also a member of these two organizations - to remove the palm oil it sources from PT ANJT. This Indonesian-listed company is a notorious deforester that continues to clear Papua’s high carbon stock (HCS) forests. 

“We have asked our supplier ADM to remove ANJT from the supply chain,” a Mars spokesperson wrote to (Oct 17) after being asked for the company’s reaction to a recent news report (Oct 10) concerning new deforestation underway in ANJT’s concessions. 

ANJT, also a member of the RSPO, is one of a number of global palm oil suppliers continuing to clear good forest cover, including peat forests, for palm oil expansion despite the recent imposition of a new palm oil expansion moratorium by President Joko Widodo (Sep 19). 

In addition to Mars, Nestlé has also asked its direct suppliers to remove all palm oil sourced from ANJT, even though this has not yet been 100% achieved and is still in process, as earlier reported by (Oct 15)

The Planet Explorer images below, recently presented by Greenomics Indonesia (Oct 9), portray the ongoing palm oil expansion, involving HCS forests, taking place in part of an ANJT concession.

PONGO Alliance members linked 

ANJT, one of the PONGO Alliance’s members, doesn’t seem to know the meaning of the word stop when it comes to clearing major parts of West Papua’s HCS forests in its two concessions. 

The company has in fact been engaged in the extensive destruction of HCS forests in these concessions for the past four years

Sime Darby Plantation, another PONGO Alliance member, is a direct supplier of ANJT’s palm oil to Nestlé’s tanks. Sime Darby had yet to respond to an email from about this matter by the deadline given to it. 

The following Planet Explorer images, also provided by Greenomics, likewise show palm oil expansion involving HCS forests in another part of an ANJT concession. These destructive practices carry on unabated as of today. 

Passive move 

Mars also declared that “We are taking action with our direct suppliers when we become aware of credible grievances throughout our palm oil supply chain”. In essence, this represents a passive move on the part of Mars given that it is relying on grievances from third parties.

This kind of statement offered by Mars is not a surprise however, seeing that it is a client of TFT which has proven over the last five years to be extremely weak in monitoring the supply chains of its clients, the majority of which remain linked to deforestation and peat destruction

In addition to its two concessions which have been largely cleared, ANJT has another concession located exactly adjacent to these covering an area more than a third the size of Singapore made up almost completely of intact forests.

If this third ANJT concession is also subjected to clearing and the TFT members concerned carry on sourcing palm oil from this global palm oil supplier, by 2020 the concession will have joined its two neighboring concessions in being predominantly razed and levelled.