Unilever has announced that it has begun cancelling its contracts with Malaysian palm oil producer and trader IOI. The IOI Group, including its trading division IOI Loders Croklaan, was last week suspended by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil following a year-long investigation into deforestation and community conflicts at IOI concessions in West Kalimantan. Unilever are one of the world’s biggest palm oil buyers.
Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner Annisa Rahmawati said: “For the past eight years, NGOs have painstakingly documented IOI’s destruction of peatland forest and orangutan habitat in West Kalimantan. IOI has been given every opportunity to reform and has repeatedly refused to do so, even though its actions were contributing to the fire and haze crisis. Even now it is still pretending nothing is wrong and is appealing the decision instead of trying to right the wrongs it has done.
“Unilever is the first customer to cancel contracts with IOI. Other companies should follow its lead. If IOI wishes to regain its customers, it must take immediate and significant action to address its legacy by restoring and protecting the peatland forests it has destroyed. It must also address the serious social, labour and environmental issues that continue to taint its supply chain.”