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).
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.
|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.
|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:
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.
|IOI Corporation Berhad (IOI)||2021063030 Jun 2021||Report can be found here||Finnwatch||
Status: Case in progress
Alleged labour rights violations at IOI’s Mekassar Estate, Pahang, Malaysia
|Wilmar immediately initiated engagement with IOI when the allegations were brought to our attention in June 2021. Full details of this case is available on IOI’s grievance list.
We understand that Finnwatch has engaged with IOI since August 2020, where they have informed IOI of several allegations highlighted by a grievance raiser on behalf of five workers, consisting of:
On 11 September 2020, IOI updated Finnwatch on the matter of mistreatment, issuance of PPE and the worker being disallowed from speaking to auditors. In the update, IOI included explanations on the regular issuance of PPEs, and that in IOI, there was no restriction placed on auditors with regards to who they choose to interview during audits. IOI also disputed the allegation that workers were not allowed to speak with auditors. IOI further acknowledged that there was an incident of mistreatment of a worker by an estate employee and clarified that action had been taken by IOI management against the employee in question.
On 14 October 2020, IOI provided supporting documents, photos and videos from its internal investigations to Finnwatch on the issue of wage disagreement, and dissatisfaction regarding housing facilities.
On 13 November 2020, IOI informed Finnwatch that on the issue of illegal payments made during recruitment by the aggrieved workers, IOI had made several attempts to contact the person involved but was not successful.
On 16 December 2020, IOI presented its “Guideline for Providing Basic Amenities to Workers” which ensures uniform implementation of amenities provided to all estate workers, and a guideline on “Worker’s Work Verification”, which enables workers to verify their working hours. IOI also shared updates with Finnwatch on progress made with regards to workers’ repatriation back to India. On the issue of recruitment fee, IOI provided reassurance to Finnwatch that investigations were ongoing on the matter, in line with IOI’s No Recruitment Fee policy.
On 23 February 2021, IOI informed Finnwatch that it had no way of confirming transactions that had occurred in India relating to recruitment fees. In response to the issue however, IOI suspended the recruitment agency involved as well as recruitment of workers from India, and added that it would be reporting the findings to authorities in India for further formal investigation.
On 28 June 2021, IOI reiterated that the issue of illegal monies collected from workers in India for recruitment was beyond their jurisdiction and would require cooperation from the Indian government.
On 2 July 2021, IOI published a Statement in Response to Finnwatch’s Report addressing the allegations. In the Statement, IOI also reaffirmed commitment to its “No Recruitment Fees Policy” since 2017, highlighted its “Guideline for Minimum Wage & Leave Pay” and “Worker’s Work Verification Guideline”, and mentioned that it will be undergoing an audit on its plantation operating units to ascertain non-compliance with its labour policies or unsatisfactory working conditions.
On 21 July 2021, IOI published an update on its first virtual Sustainability Consultation Forum. IOI engaged BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) to develop and facilitate the Forum, which was held in May 2021 and attended by 40 of IOI’s internal and external stakeholders. Discussions at the Forum were centred around efforts to address current labour challenges faced by IOI and the Malaysian palm oil sector, with a specific focus on Responsible Recruitment Practices especially in Peninsular Malaysia and legalisation of undocumented workers in Sabah. An Executive Summary of the Forum can be found here.
On 13 January 2022, IOI published a further update on outcomes and action plans arising from the Forum, which includes active engagement with relevant stakeholders such as RSPO and ILO to develop solutions for responsible recruitment practices, and the setting up of a working group to discuss approaches to legalise undocumented workers in Sabah. Further details are available here. Wilmar continues to monitor this case and engage with IOI for updates on the matter.
Wilmar continues to monitor this case and engage with IOI for updates on the matter.
|Mitra Abadimas Sejahtera, subsidiary of Chora Agro Resources||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 Mitra Abadimas Sejahtera (PT MAS), a subsidiary of Chora Agro Resources
|Wilmar immediately reached out to PT Mitra Abadimas Sejahtera (PT MAS) to seek clarification on the allegation, and held its first meeting with the supplier on 14 June 2021. We were informed that PT MAS is currently under management takeover. The takeover process has hampered the investigation of the case due to changes in management during the interim period, where the company will take more time to conduct the investigations and compile relevant documentation to be shared with Wilmar.
Following ongoing engagements, PT MAS has refuted the allegations and provided clarification to Wilmar on all the issues raised by LemBAH. Wilmar has reviewed PT MAS' response and shared the outcome of our review with the grievance raiser in December 2021. We have also proposed a meeting with the grievance raiser for further discussion on the case. The grievance raiser did not provide further comments to PT MAS’ response.
In June 2022, Wilmar carried out a field visit to PT MAS to investigate the allegations. The grievance team conducted document review, as well as interviews with PT MAS and surrounding communities to verify the allegations. The outcome of the field investigation corroborated the clarifications provided to Wilmar.
In general, PT MAS is operating legally as they have already obtained all legal permits, including location permit, plantation business permit (IUP) and land use permit (Hak Guna Usaha, HGU). They have also fulfilled their plasma obligations as well as provided compensation for land acquisition to the previous landowner. It is important to note that there are no community settlements, buildings, graves and community houses within the boundaries of PT MAS’s IUP and HGU. On the matter of labour conditions, majority of workers are from local communities of Subah sub-district and they appeared to have good relationship with PT MAS. PT MAS has also provided documentation proof that their workers welfare is protected, including insurance coverage.
|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.
|Niah Palm Oil Mill, owned by Sarawak Plantation Berhad||2021032525 Mar 2021||Report can be found here||Anonymous||
Status: Case in progress
Alleged act of violence by the staff of Niah Palm Oil Mill (NPOM), owned by Sarawak Plantation Berhad (SPB), against a former employee for physically assaulting the company’s security guard.
|The incident occurred on 7 February 2021, involving, Neileson Digat Anak Regi, a former employee of Niah Palm Oil Mill (NPOM), Sarawak Plantation Berhad (SPB).
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, since 9 January 2021, NPOM was put under lockdown. SPB issued a memo to all staff on the lockdown of its estates and mills; the memo included a directive prohibiting all visitors from entering estate/ mill compounds.
On 7 February 2021, auxiliary police (AP) received a call from NPOM’s on-duty staff informing him that Nieleson Digat Anak Regi had entered staff quarters after a verbal confrontation and despite being informed that no visitors were allowed on the premises. Nieleson Digat Anak Regi at the time was wanting to visit his relatives that also worked at NPOM. Company staff who later intervened were able to convince him to leave; this action taken was in line with the memo issue by the company earlier. However, company staff later received a call that on his way out of NPOM premises, Nieleson Digat Anak Regi physically assaulted a guard. Company staff and AP rushed to the location of the call to find Nieleson Digat Anak Regi and the said guard engaged in a fight. AP and company staff intervened to break up the fight. Nieleson Digat Anak Regi was handed over to the police station and a report was filed against him. On the same day, he also lodged a police report claiming that he was beaten without reason, resulting in bodily pain.
Following this incident, local community members and Nieleson Digat Anak Regi’s grandfather imprisoned and beat up company security guards at the main entrance of a SPB estate on 9 February 2021. The said guards proceeded to lodge a police report on 10 February. In line with due processes, police investigations have been completed and the case will be deliberated in court. The date of the hearing has been fixed for 11 to 15 April 2022.
The police department, Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) has issued a media release on the case. PDRM has also made several arrests and the cases are still under investigation.
One of our stakeholders who requested for anonymity, officially lodged the case with Wilmar in March 2021.
During the course of investigation of this case, SPB shared extensive supporting documents with us, including a clear chronology of events, copies of police reports, as well as internal memos, policies and SOPs. They have provided sufficient clarification on the allegations highlighted in this case, and have committed to enhancing their Code of Ethics and developing procedures to strengthen their commitment to non-violence at the workplace, including detailed SOPs for their security personnel, with assistance from Wilmar. SBP will be translating these SOPs into local languages and has also committed to actively socialise their SOPs with all relevant personnel in the organisation. Following the incident, SBP has continued to engage with members of the surrounding community and maintains cordial relationships with them.
Wilmar continues to monitor the issue and engage with SPB, to guide them in improving their practices.
|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.
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.
With regards to the allegation of criminalisation, here is the summary of events that led to the arrest and imprisonment:
PT ALL reiterated that these were decisions made by legal authorities and the courts, with no influence from the company.
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.
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.
|LKPP Corporation Sdn Bhd||2020080606 Aug 2020||Report can be found here and here||Mighty Earth||
Status: Case closed
Alleged deforestation by PKPP Plantation Sdn Bhd, a company allegedly linked to our supplier LKPP Corporation Sdn Bhd
|Wilmar and our supplier LKPP Corporation Sdn Bhd do not source from PKPP Plantation Sdn Bhd, the company that’s allegedly involved in deforestation.
Our supplier LKPP Corporation Sdn Bhd clarified that, PKPP Plantation Sdn Bhd is a different entity from LKPP Corporation Sdn Bhd.
Wilmar has therefore established direct engagement with PKPP Plantation Sdn Bhd to seek their clarification on the alleged deforestation. While the case is still undergoing investigation in verifying the allegation, PKPP Plantation Sdn Bhd has committed to cease any new clearing and published their NDPE commitment. In the meantime, PKPP Plantation Sdn Bhd has decided to reserve two lots of land from their landbank for potential recovery site, while continues to embark their conservation project to replanting rare wild jungle fruit trees and wild herbs trees in a secondary jungle area at Paya Bungor, Kuantan, in collaboration with local University, UiTM. The project with UiTM which involved 40 acres is still going and now entering Phase 2.
Wilmar’s last purchase from LKPP Corporation Sdn Bhd was in November 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.
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.
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:
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.