Unilever Blacklists Indonesian Planter

KUALA LUMPUR: Consumer goods giant Unilever has told dealers not to source palm oil from Indonesian planter Duta Palma on concerns over rainforest destruction, an Indonesian industry official said yesterday.

Unilever, the world’s top palm oil buyer, blacklisted Duta Palma just two months after it halted a US$33mil supply contract with Indonesia’s largest producer, PT SMART.

Green campaigners and consumers have turned up the heat on European firms such as Unilever, saying these companies’ palm oil suppliers are responsible for deforestation and peatland clearence that can speed up climate change.

Derom Bangun, vice-chairman of the Indonesian Palm Oil Board, told Reuters by telephone that Unilever did not have a supply contract with Duta Palma to begin with but was “safeguarding their supply mechanisms” following a BBC documentary that showed footage of Duta Palma staff clearing rainforests for oil palm estates that produce the vegetable oil used in Unilever products. — Reuters Source : The Star

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