Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Greenpeace takes the sustainable palm oil campaign back to the fields

After hugely embarrassing Nestle with a multi-media Kit-Kat and social media campaign, Greenpeace has taken the sustainable palm oil campaign back to the ground, literally.

Greenpeace organised a press conference in Singapore coinciding with the annual general meeting of Sinar Mass, one of the largest oil palm plantations companies and a key palm oil supplier for Nestle. It has been reported that Nestle has canceled its direct contact with Sinar Mas after being attacked by Greenpeace. Earlier, Unilever had stopped buying palm oil from Sinar Mas.

Greenpeace campaigners presented in the press conference what they call a fresh evidence of forest destruction in Indonesia by the palm oil industry. Greenpeace has also released a new report Sinar Mas-Rainforest and Peatland Destruction based on recent research on the ground.

The report says that a comparison of satellite images from 23 February 2010 and 19
November 2009, confirms that peatland and forest clearance continues in PT ALM concessions, owned by Sinar Mas. The report says that satellite images also show that approximately 2,300 hectares (of the 6,252 hectares identified as HCV in 2006)iv, has been cleared by PT ALM.

This is the second report on Sinar Mas in five months. Last December, Greenpeace had published Forest Clearance and RSPO Greenwash: Case Studies of Sinar Mas accusing the group of rainforest destruction.

An hour ago I received news that Spanish energy giant Abengoa has sacked Sinar Mas as palm oil supplier. Abengoa buys palm oil to be used as bio-fuel to produce energy.

Greenpeace has been campaigning to put pressure on the European Union to ban the use of palm oil as bio-fuel.

Cargill also under attack
Rainforest Action Network, published a report Cargill's Problems with Palm Oil last week which said the commodities giant Cargill was destroying rainforests in Indonesia to expand its palm plantations. Cargill has denied allegations.

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