Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Unilever & the Forests
For many years, forests in the Indonesian islands of Sumatera and Kalimantan have been cut, burned and transformed into Palm Plantations.
In order to slow down destruction of the forests, environmental activists like Walhi and Greenpeace have protested frequently against the Palm Oil Manufacturers, their buyers as well as the Department of Forestry who granted permit for transformation of the forests into commercial plantations.
As a result of those protests, the Food Magazine reported that Unilever as the world's largest buyer of Palm Oil has announced that it is suspending future purchases from Indonesian Palm Oil supplier PT Sinar Mas (SMART). The move followed allegations Smart's plantations are contributing to the destruction of high conservation value forests and expanding onto peat lands.
According to Unilever's Chief Procurement Officer Marc Engel, the company is committed to sustainable sourcing and is taking a stance against a supplier who is accused of breaking the law.
I hope that Unilever's move will be followed by other buyers of Palm Oil, so that our forests can be maintained, and endangered species living there like Orangutan, Tigers and Rhinos can be saved from extinction.
Photo: Courtesy of How Stuffs Works.