23 December 2014
Half a decade ago, Golden-Agri Resources (GAR) was losing customers right and left in the midst of a Greenpeace campaign that blamed the Singapore-based palm oil giant for destroying forests in Indonesia. Then in February 2011, GAR surprised the world when it announced it would no longer clear rainforests or peatlands for new plantations. The company also committed to resolving social conflicts and respecting the right of local communities to reject plantation development on their traditional lands. Observers thought it could be mark the beginning a transformation in how palm oil was produced.
Nearly four years later, the palm oil sector is indeed being transformed. A raft of companies have pledged to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains based on the safeguards established in GAR's policy. GAR has also moved to strengthen its commitment, extending the policy beyond its own plantations to its suppliers.
But a report released today by Greenpeace shows that while GAR's commitment appears genuine, the company still faces implementation challenges, showing the the road to zero deforestation is long and complex.
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