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Indonesia: Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil freezes operations of 7 Goodhope subsidiaries for failure to comply with environmental procedures

Author: Alice Cuddy, Mongabay, Published on: 8 May 2017

"RSPO freezes palm oil company’s operations in Papua", 7 May 2017

The world’s biggest sustainable palm oil association has frozen the operations of one of its most prominent members on concessions in Indonesia because of failures to meet its standards on new planting.

The Complaints Panel of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) issued a stop-work order for seven subsidiaries of Goodhope Asia Holdings as a result of “poor quality” audits and insufficient documentation required under its New Planting Procedure (NPP) rules.

The Singapore-based palm oil company, an arm of Sri Lanka’s Carson Cumberbatch, has been linked to various cases of environmental and human rights abuses in Indonesia, including allegations of grabbing land from an indigenous community in Papua province on the island of New Guinea, where the industry is quickly expanding…

In a letter to Goodhope sustainability director Edi Suhardi, the RSPO Complaints Panel explained that an independent review had found that High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments conducted for its subsidiaries PT Nabire Baru and PT Agrajaya Baktitama were of a poor standard.

RSPO members must submit an HCV assessment prior to any establishment or expansion of a plantation, in order to identify areas that cannot be cleared — such as virgin rainforests — without violating the body’s standards for ethical palm oil production…

…Goodhope’s [sustainability director] Edi Suhardi maintained…that the action was unwarranted.

“We disagree on the opinion that the HCV assessments were of poor quality. Such rating was not based on objective criteria and clear indicators,” he told Mongabay by email…

[Also refers to Carson Cumberbatch.]

Read the full post here

Related companies: Goodhope Holdings Wilmar International