Protesters against Bidco's alleged land grab in Uganda picket outside company's financiers' offices in London; Bidco comments

Author: Samuel Nabwiiso, East African Business Week (Uganda), Published on: 29 August 2016

"Bidco fends off protestors over palm oil"

Biidco...is not pleased by the protestors who turned up last week in London to highlight the company’s palm oil operations, specifically in neighbouring Uganda.  Bidco CEO Vimal Shah, said the people involved lacked credibility and there is no merit in their claims of exploitation. The Bidco Truth Coalition (BTC) an activist alliance, last week picketed the London headquarters of  Barclays and Standard Chartered, who they claim are funding Bidco Africa’s deforestation to make way for palm oil production in places like Uganda...

The Coalition says the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI)...is failing in its mission to lead the banking industry in collectively directing capital towards environmentally and socially sustainable economic development. BEI has nine member banks comprised of Barclays, Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Lloyds, Northern Trust, RBS, Santander and Westpac.By signing up to BEI’s ‘Soft Commodities’ Compact, the nine banks are expected to only direct capital towards sustainable business models and achieve zero net deforestation among their client companies...

Kodey Rao the Bidco Uganda Managing Director said, “No forests were taken in Uganda, there have been four independent Environmental Impact Assessments done and they all give the project a clean bill of health.” But environmental acitivists such as BTC say the palm oil industry is counter productive...[It says]...."while Bidco takes credit for building wide roads to accommodate the company’s fume-spewing trucks, a report called ‘Pro-Poor Land Records, Palm Oil and Prosperity: Any Proof from Bugala Island, Uganda?’, presented at the Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty on 23 March 2015, found that “a hospital or dedicated public medical facility is still lacking on the island, alcoholism and HIV/AIDS have been on the rise and require intervention, and environmental risks concerning the chemical fertilizer required for the palms are expected to reduce the fish stock in the medium term.’

 

 

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Related companies: Barclays Bidco Oil Refineries Standard Bank