Indonesia: Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil lifts suspension of IOI’s certification following company’s submission of action plan; environmental groups disapprove

In April 2016, the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) suspended the certification of Malaysia's IOI Group following complaints of environmental abuses in the Kalimantan, Indonesia operations of its subsidiaries. This led major brands to drop IOI from their supplier lists.

The suspension was legally challenged by the company in a lawsuit filed in a Swiss court, which was eventually dropped.

On 5 August, the RSPO announced that it would re-install IOI's certification effective 8 August.

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9 August 2016

Palm oil giant IOI Group regains RSPO sustainability certification

Author: Madeleine Cuff, Guardian (UK)

8 Aug 2016

Palm oil supplier IOI Group has had its certificate for sustainable palm oil reinstated by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), after it was judged to have fulfilled the body’s demands to improve its environmental performance…

The Malaysia-based conglomerate saw its certification suspended in March this year after the RSPO ruled it was not meeting the certificate’s standards and failing to adequately protect peat areas and forests.

The ruling led a wave of major multinationals, including Unilever, Kellogg’s and Mars, to drop IOI Group from their lists of approved suppliers, prompting IOI Group to mount a legal challenge against RSPO, which it has since dropped

However, the RSPO stressed the reinstatement of certification was subject to an inspection of IOI Group’s land by an independent ground team…

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5 August 2016

RSPO lifts suspension of Malaysian palm oil giant IOI

Author: Philip Jacobson, Mongabay

Malaysia’s IOI Group has regained the right to sell “certified sustainable” palm oil under the brand of the RSPO, the world’s largest association for ethical production of the commodity.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil had suspended IOI’s certification over environmental abuses by the company’s units in the Indonesian part of Borneo island, known as Kalimantan…

Green groups condemned the lifting of the suspension. They said the RSPO should have waited until IOI had actually cleaned up its operations, instead of trusting it to keep its latest promises.

The Rainforest Action Network said the decision “placed the credibility of the entire RSPO certification system in doubt.”

Greenpeace said the decision proved the RSPO was “weak” and called for consumer good giants to refrain from resuming purchases from IOI…

Indonesia is the top producer of palm oil, used in everything from chocolate to cosmetics. The industry’s breakneck expansion in the archipelagic country has fueled economic growth but also deforestation, land grabbing and the annual peatland fires that last year blanketed the region in a choking haze, sickened half a million people and pumped more carbon into the atmosphere than the entire EU during a two-month period.

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