What does Sime Darby’s blacklisting from the US mean for palm oil’s sustainability credentials?

Until recently, human rights issues in palm oil have been largely overshadowed by the environmental impact of the crop on forests in Indonesia and Malaysia, the two biggest producer countries.Fast forward to the present, and the company that also claims to be the world’s biggest seller of certified sustainable palm oil — which is defined as exploitation-free, as well as grown without cutting down rainforests or burning carbon-rich peatlands — has been blocked from selling its produce in the US because of alleged human rights violations.After allegations made by anti-trafficking group Liberty Shared, the United States’ Customs and Border Protection agency said it had found evidence of all 11 of the International Labour Organization’s forced labour indicators in Sime Darby’s plantations.

There have been unresolved social conflicts in Sime Darby plantations for many years. These failures indicate a failure within RSPO as well as Sime Darby is a key member.
Grant Rosoman, senior advisor, forest solutions, Greenpeace International
Mohd Haris Mohd Arshadhas, managing director of Sime Darby Oils, the company’s downstream business arm, told Malaysian media outlets that the allegations were “absolutely false”, but said that all companies the size of his employer — the firm has aboout 90,000 employees globally, 30,000 staff in Malaysia working across 300,000 hectares of land — will have “a few bad apples”.Rashyid Redza Anwarudin, the company’s head of group sustainabil…. Read more: https://tinyurl.com/yye4r72d
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