agriculture, environment, NGO, sustainability

Why Goodman Fielder should not be sold to Wilmar

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Source: UNCTAD, April 2014

Is this a conspiracy theory or sheer coincidence?

Oxfam Australia calls out Westpac, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank and NAB for its lending to companies associated with land grabs, my Twitter feed picks up UNCTAD’s report on The Practice of Responsible Investment Principles in Larger Scale Agricultural Investments and the day after, we have Wilmar (who has been linked to NAB) making a bid for Goodman Fielder. The same Goodman Fielder who uses palm oil in products and intends to source “Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) for its supply chain from 2014”. And the same Wilmar that Oxfam cites as:

With Wilmar being one of the largest players in the palm oil industry, the sheer number of conflicts and controversies surrounding its operations and those of its many subsidiaries are virtually impossible to document. For example, since 2007, five complaints have been submitted to either the International Finance Corporation’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) against Wilmar’s operations in Indonesia or the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) regarding Wilmar’s operations in both Indonesia and Africa. The most recent and unresolved complaint was filed in 2013 with the RSPO against a Wilmar subsidiary operating in Indonesia. This complaint alleged the company failed to comply with all relevant local, national and ratified international laws and regulations, did not mitigate the environmental impacts of the development, encroached into areas classified as High Conservation Value Forests and breached parts of the RSPO Code of Conduct.

Now that is certainly a deal I would not like to see go through.

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