Grievance Procedure


How it works

This Grievance Procedure has been established for Wilmar to address grievances from parties, including individuals, government organizations and non-governmental organizations concerning the implementation of Wilmar’s No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) Policy. We recognise that providing this feedback mechanism for stakeholders is important because it helps in the monitoring of compliance with Wilmar’s NDPE policy throughout our operations and supply chain.

The Grievance Procedure also promotes transparency and accountability, through disclosure of our full list of grievances, with updates on our actions to address them. 

Submit Grievance

Grievances can be submitted through any of the following channels:

By email to

By telephone to
+60 3 2119 9000

By fax to
+60 3 2026 2142

By messaging the following local mobile numbers via SMS or WhatsApp
Malaysia: +60 1 3551 6930 
Indonesia: +62 812 1378 7839 
These hotlines are available during and outside office hours

In writing to
Wilmar Trading Pte Ltd 
28 Biopolis Road 
Singapore 138568
Attention: Sustainability Department (Grievance Coordinator)

Ineligible Grievance List

As per Wilmar Grievance Procedure, we investigate all cases which are received. Based on the evidence received to date, the cases listed here are those that are classified as ineligible grievances and will not be further investigated. 

Updated: 08/03/2023

XX grievances found

Company Received Grievance Report Stakeholders Subject Matter and Progress Progress Update
Runding Putra Persada 2022091919 Sep 2022 Report can be found here. Rainforest Action Network (RAN) Status: Case in progress

Non-compliant palm products from Mr. Mahmudin, a smallholder operating in the Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve (RSWR) area allegedly enter Wilmar’s supply chain through its supplier, PT Runding Putra Persada (PT RPP) via a Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB) dealer CV Buana Indah (CV BI).

Non-compliant palm products from Mr. Mahmudin, a smallholder operating in the Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve (RSWR) area allegedly entered Wilmar’s supply chain through its supplier, PT Runding Putra Persada (PT RPP) via a Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB) dealer CV Buana Indah (CV BI).

Wilmar does not source from CV BI. However, our supplier, PT RPP was allegedly sourcing from CV BI. Wilmar immediately initiated engagement with PT RPP when allegations of their non-compliant sourcing within RSWR was brought to our attention in September 2022.  According to the report, Mr. Mahmudin was operating illegally within RSWR and was supplying to PT RPP via CV BI. 

On 31 October 2022, RAN published additional information on the case titled “Major Indonesian Palm Oil Suppliers Falsely Deny Sourcing Illegal Palm Oil” on the issue linked to Mr. Mahmudin’s farm that allegedly extends beyond the boundary of the RSWR. 

A series of meeting and engagement with PT RPP was carried out thereafter. A field verification from 7 to 15 November 2022 has been carried out to verify the allegation and to support the development of an action plan to address the issues identified. The field visit concluded that Mr Mahmudin has a certificate of ownership (SHM) covering an area of 29 hectares. However, he has further claimed ownership of additional 4 hectares within RSWR which has not yet been allocated SHM. In addition, Mr Mahmudin’s FFB collection point also lacks adequate traceability mechanism to map the FFB that are sourced from the local community farms around Mr Mahmudin's farm. It has been confirmed that CV BI is indeed PT RPP’s supplier, which they have started sourcing since April 2022.

The outcome of the investigation and the action plan were discussed with RAN on 1 December 2022. The final field verification report has also been shared with RAN on 21 December 2022.

In March 2023, a verification field visit was undertaken to assess the progress of the action plan.  It was found that PT RPP has made improvements to the traceability system but the supply chain data collection at CV BI and the handover of 4 hectares of Mr. Mahmudin's land inside RSWR were progressing slower than expected. In order to accelerate progress to meet the action plan targets by June 2023, further assistance will be extended to PT RPP on its traceability programme and our team will engage with Mr. Mahmudin and CV BI in May 2023.  The full report is available here.  

In May 2023, a follow up field visit was carried out.  PT RPP has achieved 94% Traceability to Plantation (TtP) and its staff have been trained on the traceability system.  After a delayed start on the traceability mapping process due to unforeseen circumstances, Koltiva began the traceability work on CV BI’s and Mr Mahmudin’s suppliers in March and May 2023 respectively. Thus, Koltiva has revised timeline for 100% TtP to September 2023. During this visit, the field team also discussed with Mr. Mahmudin on the progress of the land release of the 4 hectares. 

In early June 2023, our team met with Balai Konservasi & Sumber Daya Alam, BKSDA (Agency of Conservation and Natural Resources) as the authority for management and monitoring of RSWR, and Balai Pemantapan Kawasan Hutan, BPKH (Agency of Forest Area Consolidation Center) as the authority for boundary marking of RSWR, with the aim to understand the management and monitoring of RSWR, and process of releasing land occupied by community within the RSWR. 

In June 2023, another follow up field visit was carried out.  Mr. Mahmudin was not available to meet with field team during this field visit.  The field team was later informed that Mr. Mahmudin was not willing to sign the commitment letter to release the 4 hectares. Consequently, PT RPP and CV BI have issued a statement on 13 July 2023 to exclude Mr. Mahmudin from their supply chain. With this latest development, Wilmar has also included Mr. Mahmudin on its list of “high risk” FFB supplier, where all Wilmar direct suppliers operating within the 50km radius of the Leuser Ecosystem will be notified on the development of this case. Mr. Mahmudin’s FFB will only be allowed to enter their supply chain when the case is resolved to our satisfaction. 

In the meantime, Wilmar will continue to engage with PT RPP and CV BI and monitor the progress of fulfilling 100% traceability. 

Dewa Rencana Perangin Angin 2022012424 Jan 2022 Report can be found here Wilmar Status: Case closed

Alleged labour rights violation in PT Dewa Rencana Perangin Angin’s (PT DRPA) operation.
Wilmar immediately reached out to Dewa Rencana Perangin Angin (PT DRPA) in January 2022 for clarification when the allegation of forced labour in PT DRPA was brought to our attention. However, despite several engagement attempts made since January 2022, we were unable to establish engagement with PT DRPA. We have therefore ceased sourcing from PT DRPA since January 2022.
Gilford Ltd, a subsidiary of Rimbunan Hijau (PNG) Group 2021100707 Oct 2021 Report can be found here  Global Witness Status: Case in progress

Alleged deforestation, land rights and labour rights violations by Gilford Ltd, a subsidiary of Rimbunan Hijau (RH).
In July 2021, a letter was sent to Wilmar’s customers from the NGO Global Witness (GW), alleging environmental and social non-compliance incidents by Rimbunan Hijau (RH). A summary of the allegations in the letter were as follows:
  • Environmental degradation and deforestation activities;
  • Violence and harassment against community members, through local police;
  • Lack of Free, Prior, Informed Consent (FPIC) prior to development of land;
  • Decent accommodation and facility for employees living in company housing; and
  • Workers’ health and safety.
Wilmar immediately reached out to RH for clarification on the issues raised by GW, and has been actively engaging with the company since. RH has rebutted the allegations and provided us with all relevant documents which include:
  • A field visit report by an independent consultant;
  • Evidence of engagements between RH and GW since 2017;
  • Landowner consent forms to ascertain FPIC and identify cultural sites that require protection;
  • Voluntarily written statements by a landowner, contents of which were further corroborated by a statement given by a local ward councillor;
  • Correspondence between Gilford Ltd and the Royal Papua New Guinea (PNG) Constabulary;
  • Board meeting minutes by landowner companies; and
  • A mediated agreement between Gilford Ltd and a landowner company issued by the PNG National Court.
The extensive supporting documents shared by RH has generally clarified the issues raised in GW’s letter, except on the matter of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provision to its workers, which still warrants further investigation and engagement with RH in order to close the issue.

On the allegation of lack of FPIC, RH has reaffirmed that landowners’ consent (i.e. FPIC) is a legally stipulated requirement in PNG to obtain a Special Agricultural Business Lease (SABL), which they are in adherence to. Further to this, a voluntary statement by one of the landowners which was shared with us has also indicated that FPIC was in order, prior to land development. With regards to the allegation of violence and harassment, RH informed us that any reported police presence was sanctioned by the Royal PNG Constabulary and that no malpractice was proven, following investigations by high-level authorities, including the Ombudsman Commission.

On the allegation of deforestation and environmental issues, RH has clarified that their operational planning and execution are compliant with all legal requirements. In fact, such compliance was monitored by the PNG Forest Authority Project Supervisor onsite, to ensure protection of all culturally important sites, and other specific protected areas such as buffer zones along rivers and streams; village reserves; conservation zones for fauna and flora; as well as sites of historical importance such as old village sites and caves. Since project commencement, they have not received any specific complaints from any affected landowners, ward councillors, village court officials, or any government officials on environmental matters. In addition, it is also important to note that Wilmar has engaged with Gilford Ltd since 2018 on their compliance to NDPE, where Gilford has committed to carrying out HCV-HCS assessments prior to any new land clearing. A moratorium on new land clearing has been imposed since 2018. For more information related to this case, please refer to Wilmar’s Grievance List, the case registered in 2018 under Gilford Ltd.

On the matter of PPE provision, Wilmar will be working closely with RH to ensure that their practices are fully aligned with our NDPE Policy. This includes improvements to their PPE Policy and socialisation of the policy to all levels of management and operations, with effective on-the-ground implementation.

On 7 October 2021, GW released a public report titled ’The True Price of Palm Oil’. The allegations on RH in this report are largely similar to the letter that was sent to Wilmar’s customers in July 2021. The Report however contains additional information related to RH’s health and safety practices.

Wilmar continues to monitor and investigate the remaining issues related to worker PPE Provision and RH’s safety and health practices, and will guide RH towards resolution of this case.
Putra Lirik Domas, a subsidiary of KPN Corporation 2021060202 Jun 2021 Report can be found here  Lembaga Bentang Alam Hijau (LemBAH) Status: Case closed

Alleged land rights, labour rights violations and environmental pollution by PT Putra Lirik Domas, a subsidiary of KPN Corporation
Wilmar immediately initiated engagement with KPN when the allegation was brought to our attention in June 2021. KPN has since published an initial response on the case, clarifying their investigation approach and action plans in resolving the issues highlighted. We understand that PT Putra Lirik Domas (PT PLD) has initiated site verification on 4 June 2021 and identified that the community facilities are within their land use permit (HGU) of PT PLD, in which PT PLD will apply for a permit change of the area with Badan Pertanahan Nasional (BPN), the national land agency. On 2 July 2021, PT PLD engaged directly with LemBAH for further discussion of the case. On 14 October 2021, PT PLD met with LemBAH, AMAN Bengsibas and representatives of the local communities, cooperative and the the local government to discuss the allegations raised and steps towards resolution of the issues identified.

To support the investigation of the case, PT PLD has  established an internal task force to look into the allegations and to develop resolutions to address the issues identified. The task force has subsequently developed an action plan to guide PT PLD in implementing corrective measures. During the investigation process, PT PLD has transparently shared all relevant documentations with us for our review, including copies SOPs for grievance handling, water test results, worker’s promotions and training programme, improvement of their environment, health and safety (EHS) practices. In addition, they have also shared with us activities related to plasma programme and engagement with government related to HGU revision.

Wilmar continues to engage with PT PLD and monitor the implementation of the remaining action plan, which is primarily related to the revision of the HGU.  

Astra Agro Lestari 2021030202 Mar 2021 Report can be found here Procter & Gamble Status: Case in progress

Alleged land grabbing by the following companies, which are subsidiaries of PT Astra Agro Lestari (AAL):
I. PT Mamuang
II. PT Lestari Tani Telada (LTT)
III. PT Agro Nusa Abadi (ANA)

In October 2020, we received information from Procter & Gamble that WALHI Central Sulawesi submitted a complaint regarding land conflict at PT AAL’s subsidiaries; PT Mamuang, PT LTT and PT ANA.

The allegations are as follows:

  • PT Mamuang allegedly seized 50 ha of land belonging to local farmers. The company has criminalised farmers from Panca Mukti Village. One community member was wrongfully criminalised on three occasions, and imprisoned as a result.
  • PT LTT has allegedly seized approximately 100 ha from farmers in the villages of Rio Mukti and Tawiora. The company also implements an outsourcing system, mismatches working hours and fails to follow a wage system in accordance with Indonesian labour law, whereby the price of palm oil fruits produced by the farmers are determined by the company alone.
  • PT ANA has allegedly seized 5,000 ha of land belonging to farmers of Molino Village, Bungintimbe Village, Tompira Village and Bunta Village, and is operating without a land use permit (HGU). The company is alleged to have only location permits, thus being in violation of local laws concerning taxation and regional income.

Wilmar immediately reached out to PT AAL to investigate the above allegations, where AAL has clarified accordingly. In November 2020, Wilmar also held a meeting with AAL for further discussion on the matter.

  • PT Mamuang: PT AAL explained that since the 1990s, PT Mamuang has established and maintained a harmonious relationship with the surrounding community, especially because its existence has provided benefits to the community. Several media articles had also reported the positive relationship between PT Mamuang and the local community. News clippings available here and here.

With regards to the allegation of criminalisation, here is the summary of events that led to the arrest and imprisonment:

  • In 2006, a claim was made against PT Mamuang for ownership of 8 ha of land. Albeit PT Mamuang is the legal owner of the land, and have obtained legal operating permits, PT Mamuang’s management was still willing to engage with the complainant from 2006 to 2016 via negotiations and mediation processes with local authorities; their efforts however yielded little success.
  • Between 2017 to 2019, the complainant and his son allegedly engaged in activities that resulted in his son being convicted for criminal charges. As a result of this, he was imprisoned.

PT ALL reiterated that these were decisions made by legal authorities and the courts, with no influence from the company.

  • PT LTT: The alleged land grab of 100 ha from local farmers has not been verified and PT AAL has sought for further information from the complainant in order to investigate the allegation. PT LTT clarified that it does not use outsourcing mechanisms or individual outsourcing for its operational activities. Determination of the price of Fresh Fruit Bunch (FBB) at PT LTT is carried out in accordance to the Regulation of the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia, Number 01 / Permentan / Kb.120 / 1/2018. PT LTT added that it has not received complaints from its farmers or farmer group institutions regarding pricing.
  • PT ANA operates in accordance with all relevant legal permits. In the plantation development process, PT ANA always respects the rights of the community and ensures that each land tenure has gone through a process agreed upon with the community concerned.

Procter & Gamble (P&G) officially lodged the case with Wilmar in March 2021. P&G has played a pivotal role in our repeated attempts to engage with WALHI to better understand the details of the allegations raised. We understand that P&G are also working closely with the international non-profit and land rights advocacy organisation, Landesa. The purpose of this collaboration is to further strengthen P&G's grievance mechanism and resolution approach related to land rights cases, with a specific focus on ongoing concerns raised by WALHI in relation to PT AAL.

To accelerate progress, Landesa recommended an independent field verification to establish the facts on the ground. In March 2022 P&G commissioned and funded EcoNusantara (ENS), an independent advisory and consultancy expert to conduct field verification of the grievances submitted. The selection of ENS was made in consultation with and alignment of WALHI with local communities, PT AAL and Wilmar. ENS conducted the verification using an “open investigation” approach where every relevant party was informed in advance about the purpose of these activities. In addition to reviewing documents, in-depth interviews were conducted with key stakeholders, such as, WALHI National Executive and Sulawesi Central Regional Office, TUK Indonesia, PT AAL, the Sulawesi Plantation Department and Land Agency, Donggala District of Central Sulawesi Plantation Department and Land Agency and North Morowali District of Central Sulawesi Plantation Department. Direct face to face discussions were also held with community representative at six villages, including Panca Mukti, Tawiora, Bunta, Bungintimbe, Tompira, and Molino villages. All discussions were held in appropriate relevant local languages. ENS confirmed that all the stakeholders demonstrated goodwill, acted collaboratively during the interviews, and shared key information transparently in a way that is vital for the assessment and ultimate grievance resolution. ENS has transparently shared their findings in unilateral meetings with P&G, WALHI (held in Bahasa Indonesia), Wilmar and PT AAL. The final report was shared with Wilmar in September 2022. For more information on the outcome of the verification process commissioned by P&G, please refer to the executive summary report on the verification process prepared by P&G.

PT AAL on the other hand has engaged with the Conflict Resolution Unit (CRU) to evaluate their current human rights related practices. Incubated through the Indonesia Business Council for Sustainable Development (IBCSD) in 2015, CRU is a conflict resolution service agency that provides independent support for resolving conflicts in the management of agrarian and natural resources.

During the grievance investigation and verification process, we have closely engaged with all related parties, including PT AAL, P&G and ENS, where our last meeting was on 22 September 2022. PT AAL is committed to work towards the resolution of the case and more information related to their action plan will be provided in due course.

On  31 March 2023, PT AAL released their public statement on the appointment of ENS to carry out comprehensive independent verification on the issues raised.  The terms of reference (TOR) was finalised jointly with key stakeholders and supported by PT AAL’s sustainability consultant Robertsbridge Group. During the course of investigation, ENS will also open a complaint channel to capture issues raised by affected parties.  

On 12 May 2023, PT AAL published their progress update; where ENS will carry out the field assessment on the third week of May 2023 for initial set of interviews with community members, WALHI as the communities' advocate, and AAL related staff. On broader engagement level, ENS will be engaging with WALHI at local and national level, while Robertsbridge will be engaging with Friends of the Earth (US). 

ENS began the field verification process in late May 2023.  A kick off meeting between ENS and WALHI was scheduled; unfortunately, WALHI did not participate at the last minute.  Nonetheless, ENS commenced the field visits to affected communities of PT LTT, PT ANA, and PT Mamuang and the needs assessments in Toviora village, as planned.  By early June 2023, ENS had completed the field visits and the initial interviews with local government officials and community representatives, with the aim to identify locations of disputed land claims.

ENS conducted second phase of on-the-ground interviews starting from late June 2023 to verify findings from the initial interviews and to conduct further interviews with community members. The needs assessment with targeted communities at PT LTT was carried out with support from Tadulako University. 

ENS completed the field verification process by mid-August 2023 and commenced on the process of data analysis thereafter. 

In mid-September 2023, ENS highlighted that a government mediation process is taking place in two villages in the PT ANA area.  ENS will monitor the outcome of the mediation process to assess the implications for its reporting.  ENS currently is in the process of finalizing the field verification report and committed to share the final report to key stakeholder once available. 

PT AAL has published the progress updates on the independent verification.  For more information related to the activities, please refer to the reports as follow:

In the meantime, Wilmar continues its engagement with PT AAL and all other relevant stakeholders in working towards resolution of the case.

Value Greenworld Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Bunga Group  2021011414 Jan 2021 Report can be found here Mighty Earth Status: Case closed

Alleged deforestation by Value Greenworld Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Bunga Group. 
Wilmar immediately initiated engagement with Bunga Group when allegations of deforestation at Value Greenworld was brought to our attention in January 2021.

We were informed by Bunga Group that they acquired Value Greenworld in late 2016, where the purchase agreement categorised the land as ‘shrubs’ and suitable for immediate planting. Due to this, Bunga Group proceeded with land clearing without conducting any HCV-HCS assessments. An immediate moratorium was imposed by Bunga Group on the Value Greenworld concession and all other plantations under Bunga Group in December 2020 when the non-compliance to NDPE was brought to Bunga Group’s attention prior to our engagement with them. Since then, Bunga Group has released their Sustainable Palm Oil Policy in January 2021. 

Based on the concession maps shared by Bunga Group with Wilmar, we have confirmed that the deforestation has indeed happened inside their concession area. As there was no HCS/HCV assessment conducted prior to land clearing, we considered this act of land clearing at Value Greenworld as non-compliant to our NDPE policy.  

Wilmar’s last purchase from this supplier was in March 2021

As of July 2021, Bunga Group has met all the requirements stipulated in our re-entry criteria. This includes their commitment to the development of a Recovery Plan for Non-Compliant Land Clearing to the NDPE policy at group level, for activity that has taken place from January 2016 onwards. Based on the detailed review of documentation, reports and a letter of commitment from Bunga Group, the Wilmar Suspension Committee has given due consideration of this progress and lifted the suspension of Bunga Group in July 2021. 
Teupin Lada, a subsidiary of Blang Ketumba 2020082020 Aug 2020 Report can be found here Rainforest Action Network (RAN) Status: Case closed

Non-compliant palm products from PT Indo Alam allegedly enter Wilmar’s supply chain through its supplier, PT Teupin Lada.
Wilmar does not source from PT Indo Alam. However, our supplier, PT Teupin Lada was allegedly sourcing from PT Indo Alam.

Prior to the publication of the RAN report on 20 August 2020 on the allegation of PT Teupin Lada’s sourcing of non-compliant palm products from PT Indo Alam, Wilmar has already initiated engagement with PT Teupin Lada since 18 August 2020 when we detected the issue through our Leuser Supplier Reporting Tool (LSRT) programme. In our meeting with PT Teupin Lada on 25 August 2020, the supplier has confirmed that they had started to procure from PT Indo Alam since Q1 2020, and they have already ceased sourcing from PT Indo Alam with immediate effect from 25 August 2020.
Amanah Saham Pahang Berhad (ASPA)  2020080606 Aug 2020 Report can be found here Mighty Earth Status: Case closed

Non-compliant palm products from Amanah Saham Pahang Berhad (ASPA) was allegedly enter Wilmar's supply chain through its suppliers.
Wilmar does not source from Amanah Saham Pahang Berhad (ASPA). However, several Wilmar’s suppliers are sourcing directly from ASPA.   

Prior to publication of the Mighty Earth 30 Rapid Response Report on 6 August 2020, our suppliers had already initiated engagement with ASPA since June 2020 when the alleged deforestation in ASPA was brought to their attention.

ASPA has committed to adopt NDPE commitment and  imposed a moratorium on land clearing. A copy of their NDPE Policy was shared with our suppliers on 9th July 2020, the NDPE policy has also been extended to Wilmar.
YP Plantation Holdings Sdn Bhd (YPPH) 2020080606 Aug 2020 Report can be found here Mighty Earth Status: Case closed

Non-compliant palm products from YP Plantation Holdings Sdn Bhd (YPPH) allegedly enter Wilmar's supply chain through its suppliers.
Wilmar does not source from YP Plantation Holdings Sdn Bhd (YPPH). However, several Wilmar’s suppliers are sourcing directly from YPPH.  

Prior to publication of the Mighty Earth 30 Rapid Response Report on 6 August 2020, our suppliers had already initiated engagement with YPPH since June 2020 when the alleged deforestation in YPPH was brought to their attention. YPPH clarified that they have received approval from the local authorities and have adhered to the state regulations before developing the area. EIA has also been conducted prior to land development and received approval from Department of Environment.

YP Plantation has committed to adopt NDPE and imposed a moratorium on land clearing with effective from 17th August 2020. A copy of the NDPE policy is available here.
IJM Plantations 2020071010 Jul 2020 Report can be found here Chain Reaction Research (CRR) Status: Case closed

Alleged sourcing of non-compliant FFB from Aspirasi Kristal Sdn Bhd
Wilmar does not source from Instant Star Holdings Sdn Bhd/ Aspirasi Kristal (M) Sdn Bhd / Satria Eramaju.

However, our supplier, IJM Plantations sources directly from the above companies. 

Aspirasi Kristal (M) Sdn Bhd
Prior to the publication of the Chain Reaction Report on 10 July 2020 on the allegation of IJM’s sourcing of non-compliant palm products from Aspirasi Kristal (AK), IJM Plantations has already initiated engagement with AK since 24 June 2020 when the alleged deforestation were brought to their attention. A physical meeting was conducted between IJM Plantations and AK on 6 July 2020, where IJM Plantations has followed up with an official letter requesting AK to cease all land clearing.  AK responded officially on 20 July 2020 to IJM Plantations agreeing to cease all land clearing activities until investigation is completed.

Another stakeholder, The Mighty Earth had also released a report on this above case in August 2020.

In September 2020, Mighty Earth alerted Wilmar that suspected land clearing activities in AK’s concession were detected. Wilmar has immediately engaged with IJM Plantations seeking clarification on the matter. AK claimed that the areas were cleared in 2019 and the recent activities involved construction of terraces and road development on the cleared areas. AK reiterated no new clearing activities were conducted since 30 July 2020. IJM Plantations decided to suspend the FFB supply from AK while investigation is ongoing.

Satria Eramaju
No active land clearing was detected at Satria Eramaju (SE). SE has also acknowledged NDPE commitment and assured that relevant assessments will be conducted prior to any land clearing.

In the meantime, IJM Plantations has also registered this case on their grievance listing to publicly report their grievance resolution process 
Sime Darby Plantation Berhad 2020070606 Jul 2020 Report can be found here Liberty Shared Status: Case closed

Alleged labour rights violation in Sime Darby Plantation Berhad’s operation
On 6 July 2020, Liberty Shared (LS) published a summary of their petition to the United States Customs and Border Protection (US CBP) to “exclude palm oil and palm oil products produced wholly or in part by forced labour and child labour by Sime Darby Plantation Berhad (SDP) owned and affiliated companies.” The petition was submitted to the US CBP on 20 April 2020.

SDP clarified that the petition was submitted to US CBP without solicitation of feedback from the organization, and that it had access only to the petition summary, which does not contain details of issues raised by LS. SDP has since engaged with Duncan Jepson, the author of the petition, to better understand and expeditiously resolve the concerns raised. SDP has published the following statements in response to LS based on the limited information that was available to it. The statements reiterate SDP’s commitment to uphold human rights and good labour practices, as well as implement appropriate corrective actions to eradicate any human rights violations.

  1. First statement dated 8 July 2020
  2. Second statement dated 10 July 2020
  3. Third statement dated 7 August 2020

On 10 November 2020, SDP announced the appointment of Independent Experts to further strengthen its human rights commitments and compliance. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was appointed on 19 October 2020 to support SDP in establishing effective platforms and channels of communication to address concerns in its Malaysian operations. The other appointment is of an independent international specialist on migrant worker rights to assist SDP in improving its migrant worker recruitment processes (further details below).

On 18 November 2020, The Associated Press (AP) published an article  titled Rape, abuses in palm oil fields linked to top beauty brands”, which reported abuse of women in SDP’s plantations. SDP released a public statement in response to the article, reiterating zero tolerance for any forms of sexual or human rights violations, exploitation or any other criminal offenses. SDP stated that it had commenced further internal investigations over the allegation and is committed to take all necessary actions. On 3 December 2020, SDP issued a second statement, identifying the specific case highlighted by AP. SDP explained that the complainant had withdrawn her complaint in April 2019, two months after it was first brought to light. In revisiting the matter, the complainant indicated that she had no intention of reopening the case and denied that offensive statements had been made to her in the first place. SDP thus had no basis to pursue further investigations and have closed the case again.

Despite SDP’s efforts, on 30 December 2020, US CBP issued a  Withhold Release Order (WRO) that all U.S. ports of entry will detain palm oil and products containing palm oil produced by SDP and its subsidiaries, joint ventures, and affiliated entities in Malaysia. The issuance of the WRO was based on information that reasonably indicated the presence of all 11 of the International Labour Organization’s forced labour indicators in SDP’s production process. SDP issued a statement in response to the WRO on 31 December 2020, reiterating its pledge to combat forced labour. The statement also indicated that CBP had still not provided sufficient information to allow SDP to meaningfully address the allegations that triggered the issuance of the WRO. RSPO also issued a statement on the WRO, urging USCBP to share any information that will allow for RSPO to properly investigate this matter and report transparently on the findings.

In continuing its efforts to resolve the issue, SDP has announced the establishment of its Experts Stakeholder Human Rights Assessment Commission (the Commission) on 1 March 2021. SDP has appointed Impactt Ltd, an ethical trade consultancy and expert in the detection and remediation of labour issues in supply chains, to the Commission, to conduct an evaluation of SDP’s labour practices across its Malaysian operations. The Commission will also consist of a Stakeholder Consultation Panel (the Stakeholder Panel), who will provide additional views on Impactt’s assessment methodology and review forced labour indicators in SDP’s operations as well as proposed remediation plans. Members of the Stakeholder Panel include Shift, the leading centre of expertise on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and Mr. Andy Hall, a migrant worker rights specialist. SDP expects the independent assessments by Impactt to be completed by May 2021, following which disclosure will be made by to SDP’s key stakeholders and the public, on the Commission’s findings.

On 4 June 2021, SDP appointed Professor Justine Nolan, a human rights expert, to its Commission and reported that it was expecting Impactt’s evaluation of its labour practices in Malaysia to be completed in June 2021. On 15 July 2021, SDP dissolved the Commission to provide for more time for the evaluation exercise to be carried out. SDP cited delays due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and that oversight of the evaluation will be undertaken by its Board’s Sustainability Committee.

On 28 January 2022, the US CBP determined that certain SDP palm oil products are produced using convict, forced or indentured labour. SDP in its statement reiterated its efforts to undertake a full-scale, independent assessment across its Malaysian operations and reaffirmed that it would fully cooperate with the US CBP in demonstrating full compliance with US import regulations. 

On 15 February, SDP announced improvements to its governance structures, policies and procedures. This includes the following:
  • Reimbursement of recruitment fees: Following calculations by an independent third party, SDP’s Board approved a provision of Rm82.02 million in reimbursements to its current and past foreign workers. Workers will receive their monies on 17 February 2022 and have access to various channels of communication to raise concerns. SDP has also set up a Sinking Fund Governance Committee (SFGC) to oversee the reimbursement process and is engaging law firms in each country of origin to management the disbursement of funds.
  • Ethical recruitment: SDP launched its Responsible Recruitment Procedure (RRP) in August 2021, which emphasises the appointment of suitable recruitment agents in ensuring non-exploitation of workers. SDP is committing to conducting regular due diligence on appointed recruitment agents and monitor their performance to ensure compliance to SDP’s recruitment standards. Agents who are in breach will have their contracts terminated.
  • Worker welfare: SDP has rolled out various communication platforms to enable workers to raise concerns and grievances. Existing grievance and whistleblowing changes have also been improved, following the establishment of a centralised Grievance unit at Headquarters. All workers have also been provided with personal lockers to store their passports.
  • Structural changes: SDP’s Board has approved an ESG scorecard across its Upstream Malaysia operations and established a new Social Welfare & Services (SWS) department. The various initiatives are overseen by SDP’s Board Sustainability Committee, and supported by a two-tier management team which meets regularly.

  • On 3 February 2023, the US CBP has modified its forced labor findings against SDP effective immediately, the US CBP will now permit the importation of palm oil from SDP into the United States and has recognized the comprehensive process undertaken by SDP in the last two years to review, revise and upgrade its protocols for recruiting, managing and working with its workers. SDP has also released a press statement to further brief on actions taken.
    PT Perkebunan Nusantara 1 (PTPN 1) Tualang Sawit  2020062424 Jun 2020 Report can be found here Rainforest Action Network (RAN) Status: Case closed

    Alleged deforestation by PT Perkebunan Nusantara 1 (PTPN 1) Tualang Sawit, a subsidiary of PTPN 1
    Wilmar has initiated investigation on the case of when the allegation was brought to our attention in 2019 and 2018. During the course of investigation, PTPN 1 has provided their signed commitment to the NDPE policy as well as shared their boundary map and planting map profile with us for the investigation and ongoing monitoring of the case. Our last physical meeting with PTPN 1 was in November 2019 in Medan.

    PTPN 1 Tualang Sawit plantation is located in Blang Tualang village, Aceh Timur district, Aceh. PTPN 1 started to develop the area in 1990 and completed most of their land clearing in 1995. Based on the planting map profile shared by PTPN 1, we understand that planting activities started in 1991 and abruptly ceased in 1999 due to security concerns over the insurgency in Aceh. When the Military Operations Area (Daerah Operasi Militer) was enforced, PTPN 1 was forced to abandon their management of these planted areas due to the dire social and security issues during the insurgency. It was only when the conditions improved in 2014 that PTPN 1 started slowly to resume their maintenance of the area and replanted the unproductive and overgrown oil palm area in areas that had already been planted in 1990 - 1999. Our internal Land Use Change Analysis (LUCA) has verified the land clearing and planting profile, as well as confirmed that all re-planting activities happened inside the area that was previously cleared and planted in 1990 – 1999 by PTPN 1.  For the case of PTPN 1, we recognize their current activities within the areas that was previously developed by them between 1990 – 1999 as replanting activities. The government’s enforcement of the Military Operations Areas caused an unavoidable abandonment due to external factors by PTPN 1 until 2014. This meant that there was no possible way for PTPN 1 to maintain the planted areas until they were able to re-enter the plantations in 2014. PTPN1 is committed to conduct HCV-HCS assessment and imposed a moratorium on further activities on the ground in the meantime. Wilmar will continue to monitor PTPN1’s activities and guide them towards the compliance to the NDPE policy. Our last meeting with PTPN1 was on 7 August 2020.

    It is crucial to note that we have been in engagement with PTPN1 since 2015 when they first participated in our Aggregator Refinery Transformation (ART) programme. Our team, together with TFT (now known as Earthworm Foundation) conducted a field assessment to PTPN 1 Pulau Tiga in May 2015. Several meetings and engagements took place thereafter to guide them towards the improvement of their practices to be aligned with our NDPE policy. PTPN1 had also actively participated in our Supplier Reporting Tool (SRT) programme when we first launched the programme to our Indonesia supplier base in 2018.  

    Meanwhile, we continue to engage and closely monitor PTPN1 to ensure that they uphold their moratorium on further activities on the ground while working on their options for the HCV–HCS assessment. 
    Medco Papua Hijau Selaras, a subsidiary of Capitol Group 2020030606 Mar 2020 Reports can be found here and here Mighty Earth Status: Case Closed

    Alleged deforestation by PT Medco Papua Hijau Selaras, a subsidiary of Capitol Group.
    Wilmar began engaging PT Medco Papua Hijau Selaras (MPHS) immediately after the allegations of deforestation against them were brought to our attention. PT MPHS clarified that both High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) assessments, which were finalised in early 2019, were conducted by ALS registered and recognised assessors. Subsequently, PT MPHS has been using the HCV/HCS map to guide their land development activities.

    Desktop monitoring by Wilmar identified 26 small sporadic patches of land clearing, totalling between 20 to 30 hectares, may have occurred inside HCV/HCS areas. Field verification by PT MPHS to investigate the allegations, initially scheduled for March 2020, was postponed to June 2020 following movement restrictions imposed by the authorities due to the COVID-19 situation. Further investigation revealed that the land clearance was a result of pressure from the community to develop areas for plasma smallholders programme. Several field assessments have been conducted thereafter to determine the details or the affected areas and location. The full field details were finally completed in September 2020.

    PT MPHS has agreed to rehabilitate the  pockets of land clearing that were identified in the HCV/HCS assessment reports. Working together with Balai Pengawas Daerah Aliran Sungai (BPDAS, Indonesian Watershed Monitoring Agency) since November 2020, PT MPHS also committed to plant 30,000 trees as part of their rehabilitation plan. Engagement with the communities on alternative plasma plans are ongoing, as the communities want the area to be cleared for plasma.

    PT MPHS also committed to appoint a registered and recognised assessor to integrate the individual HCV and HCS assessment reports following the HCV-HCS Integrated Manual, and submit the integrated report to be peer reviewed by HCVRN while observing a strict moratorium on further land clearance, which has been put place from September 2020. There were some delays in the finalisation of integrated reports due to worsening of COVID-19 pandemic, where it was finally been submitted to the HCVRN on 11 July 2021. In the meantime, they have also prepared management plans for HCV/HCS areas, therefore protecting these areas while preventing similar incidences from reoccurring.
    Wilmar's last purchase from Capitol Group was in March 2022.
    Mopoli Raya 2020021818 Feb 2020 Report can be found here Rainforest Action Network (RAN) Status: Case closed

    Alleged involvement in labour right issues by PT Mopoli Raya
    Engagement was immediately initiated with PT Mopoli Raya (MR) when the allegation of non-payment of worker’s wages at PT MR and PT Alue Kuyun was brought to Wilmar's attention. The withholding of workers’ wages led to a strike on 30 January 2020, where the Bupati (local regent) of West Aceh had also publicly urged PT MR to resolve the issues. 

    PT MR clarified that due to their financial situation, they were unable to process all the wage payments. They reiterated that they are committed to continue engagement with their workers and the union, to address the issue amicably. 

    The Wilmar team conducted a field visit from 9 – 13 March 2020 to further investigate the case, in order to understand the root cause of the incident and assist PT MR to develop an action plan to address the issues. During the field visit, our team met with PT MR’s management team, visited Alue Kuyun palm oil mill, PT MR's plantations, and interviewed several concerned parties, including workers from the mill/plantation and union representatives from Serikat Pekerja Aneka Industri - Federasi Serikat Pekerja Metal Indonesia (SPAI-FSPMI). 

    Due to a financial crisis, PT MR has already ceased most of its non-essential activities including manuring and spraying for several years. Many workers had left PT MR to work for other companies, and those who remained with the company are mainly community members living near the company premises. During our interviews with workers, we were informed that in general, their working relationship with the company has been conducive. The company had also paid them bonuses up to two months in the past, when the company was making profit. In addition, the company has adopted several policies in protecting worker’s rights and freedom of association. The workers are able to freely join the union, and approximately 50% of the workers there are unionised. 

    However, due to continued financial constraints, PT MR was not been able to pay November 2019 and December 2019 wages in full to the workers. Only 50% of the wages were paid. On 11 January 2020, the unions and workers demanded for PT MR to settle all outstanding wages by 15 January 2020, which PT MR was unable to do. This hence triggered the strike on 30 January 2020, with over 600 workers joining the strike. 

    On 17 February 2020, a multi-stakeholder meeting was held in West Aceh Bupati’s office, which was attended by representatives from the Regional Secretary, 0105 Military District Comander, West Aceh Police Department, West Aceh Transmigration and Manpower Agency,  West Aceh Regency Plantation and Livestock Department, Union representative FSPMI of PT MR, and PT MR’s management team. A wage payment schedule was successfully developed and agreed upon by all parties during the meeting. 

    During our visit, we confirmed that PT MR has followed the payment schedule and in fact has advanced the February 2020 payment earlier than the agreed schedule. In 2021 however, Wilmar was informed that due to the continued financial situation of PT MR, the company had been declared bankrupt. Workers' wages were settled by PT MR up to March 2021. Wilmar has therefore ceased sourcing from PT MR since April 2021. 
    Kumai Sentosa, a subsidiary of Gagah Putera Satria (GPS) 2019012424 Jan 2019   Wilmar's Supplier Group Compliance Programme Status: Case closed

    Alleged deforestation by Kumai Sentosa, a subsidiary of Gagah Putera Satria (GPS).
    Wilmar started it's engagement with Gagah Putera Satria since January 2019 to seek clarification on deforestation alert detected through our Supplier Group Compliance Verification programme. We managed to secure written commitment from GPS to adhere to NDPE policy in April 2019. However, our internal monitoring detected ongoing land clearing activities. 

    Wilmar's last purchase from Gagah Putera Satria was in July 2018. 
    Hamparan Masawit Bangun Persada, a subsidiary of PT BEST 2016113030 Nov 2016 Report can be found here Wilmar Status: Case closed

    Alleged involvement in labour right issues by Hamparan Masawit Bangun Persada (HMBP), a subsidiary of PT BEST
    Wilmar initiated engagement with PT HMBP, and its parent company PT BEST, in October 2016 when the allegations of labour rights issues in PT HMBP were brought to our attention. After several contact attempts, the first meeting with PT HMBP was finally held on 18 January 2017. A few more meetings were held in February, March and May 2017. However, our engagement yielded little results in getting PT HMBP to agree to a field visit. Therefore, Wilmar has decided to put on hold purchases from PT BEST, where our last purchase was in June 2017.
    AA Sawit, a company allegedly linked to our supplier Jernih Kemboja. 2022072626 Jul 2022 Report can be found here. Mighty Earth Status: Case closed

    Alleged deforestation by AA Sawit, a company allegedly linked to our supplier Jernih Kemboja.

    AA Sawit is not a supplier to Wilmar. Our supplier, Jernih Kemboja, however is implicated due to their association with AA Sawit.  

    Wilmar immediately initiated engagement with Jernih Kemboja when allegations of deforestation at PTD 4882, 4085, 4963, 4118, 4177 and 4121  by AA Sawit was brought to our attention in July 2022. A field investigation was carried in August 2022 to verify the allegations. Our field investigation as well as LUCA analysis on their concession maps thereafter has confirmed that there is non-compliance to the No Deforestation commitment to the NDPE Policy.

    Wilmar’s last purchase from this supplier was in September 2022.

    As of October 2023, Jernih Kemboja has met all the requirements stipulated in our re-entry criteria. This includes their commitment to the development of a Recovery Plan for Non-Compliant Land Clearing to the NDPE policy at group level, for activity that has taken place from January 2016 onwards. Based on the detailed review of documentation, reports and a letter of commitment from Jernih Kemboja, the Wilmar Suspension Committee has given due consideration of this progress and lifted the suspension of Jernih Kemboja in October 2023. 

    IOI Corporation Berhad (IOI) 2021063030 Jun 2021 Report can be found here Finnwatch