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Guatemala: NGO calls on Cargill to cut ties with palm oil firm REPSA over alleged threats, killings, environmental harms

Friends of the Earth calls on Cargill to change its business ties with palm oil firm REPSA in Guatemala, and stop buying palm oil from Guatemala altogether. REPSA has been accused for alleged human rights abuses and environmental damages.

Business and Human Rights Resource Center invited Cargill to respond; the response is available below.


Friends of the Earth

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Company response
12 December 2017

Cargill response

Author: Cargill

Cargill has announced the suspension of business with Guatemalan palm oil supplier Reforestadora de Palmas del Petén, S.A (REPSA) effective immediately. The suspension is a result of REPSA’s failure to meet the requirements of Cargill’s sustainable palm oil policy and critical milestones in response to environmental and social grievances raised by a coalition of international and Guatemalan NGOs.  We will not enter into new purchase contracts with REPSA until the supplier can demonstrate adoption of the required sustainable environmental and social practices. Cargill is open to reassessing the business relationship if REPSA becomes complaint with our policy.

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9 November 2017

“Tell Cargill: Cut ties with conflict palm oil!”

Author: Friends of the Earth

…Cargill [is] among the largest buyers of palm oil from Guatemala, and from…REPSA that earned global fame in 2015 when it was linked to the toxic spill in the Rio Pasion and alleged to have a hand in the kidnapping and murder of indigenous land defenders that followed the ecocide…[Cargill] has asked REPSA to improve its practices, so that it meets… [Cargill] corporate sustainability requirements...The best thing … to help resolve the crisis is to stop buying palm oil from Guatemala…Since adopting new policies, REPSA continued to threaten, intimidate, and defame people critical of its activities. Cargill should not be associated with anyone who so openly flouts the law. REPSA must be held accountable for its past and current human rights violations and all past environmental crimes associated with the April and June 2015 palm oil effluent spills in the Pasion River… The best way to address environmental human rights in Guatemala is to stop supporting companies known for defying justice…

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