Greenpeace flew a hot air balloon over San Francisco in protest against IOI © Greenpeace
Greenpeace flew a hot air balloon over San Francisco in protest against IOI © Greenpeace

Major palm oil firm acts on deforestation

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
2 May 2017

Greenpeace has suspended its campaign against palm oil company IOI after the company took “meaningful action” to address deforestation and worker rights.

IOI, the third largest palm oil trader in the world, was forced to act after it was suspended from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil in March 2016 and brands including Unilever, Mars and Nestlé cancelled contracts. The suspension has since been lifted.

Kiki Taufik, global head of Greenpeace’s Indonesian Forests Campaign, said: “IOI has come a long way in the past twelve months, and has now started taking meaningful action to eliminate forest destruction and human rights abuses from its supply chain. Greenpeace will be watching closely to make sure IOI follows through.

“There is still a lot of work to be done to clean up the palm oil industry and we expect other traders to respond with action plans of their own.” 

As part of its campaign Greenpeace blockaded IOI’s palm oil refinery in Rotterdam, flew a hot air balloon over San Francisco and protested at the firm’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

IOI said it launched a new palm oil policy in August 2016 and it had now made additional commitments around working with NGOs, addressing labour rights and working with suppliers to ensure compliance with policy commitments. The company has also committed to independent verification of its policy.

CEO Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor said: “The company will continue to engage stakeholders in its sustainability journey and looks forward to playing a leading role in ensuring sustainable global palm oil supply chains.”

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