EoF: National and global Palm Oil streams likely contaminated with illegal Palm Oil from protected Sumatra tiger corridor

EoF News / 04 September 2014

EoF News (PEKANBARU) – EoF warns today that purchasing screens need to be installed urgently at all transfer points in the chain-of-custody from the production of oil palm fruit (fresh fruit bunches/FFB) to the final product. Illegally produced FFB appears to enter national and global supply chains much too easily.

A new investigative report by EoF published today - “Tiger in your tank? Destruction of Riau's Bukit Batabuh tiger corridor for palm oil” - revealed that illegally produced FFB entered facilities of several major palm oil companies, including Wilmar International Ltd.PT. Tri Bakti Sarimas, the Asian Agri group and the Darmex group. EoF investigators tracked the FFB, unlawfully produced in the protected “Bukit Batabuh tiger corridor”, until it entered palm oil extraction (CPO) mills. They then tracked the thus tainted CPO to ports on the Indragiri river deep inside Sumatra and on Sumatra’s west coast.

Four chains-of-custody ended up in a port of the SK group, whose publishedcustomers included Asian Agri/Royal Golden EagleAstraCargillDarmexSalimSarimas and Sinar Mas groups. Unless the SK Group segregates the CPO it is contracted to transport at each transfer point between trucks, tanks and barges, any of its customers may receive contaminated CPO from protected tiger habitat.

EoF also published a demo map  to summarize the chains-of-custody of FFB from the protected tiger corridor to nearby corporate CPO mills and ports. Below is a quick view of the map:

Two of the implicated companies, Wilmar and Asian Agri, had been named in an investigative report by WWF Indonesia as buying FFB illegally produced inside Tesso Nilo National Park. Wilmar subsequently published a very comprehensive forest protection policy. Asian Agri did not, though the company promised to no longer accept illegally produced FFB. The two investigations by EoF and WWF show how far spread the issue of CPO contamination seems to be, and how much CPO mills accepting illegal FFB, and refineries accepting tainted CPO drive deforestation.

EoF urges the two companies and all others implicated in this investigation to close these leaks through which illegal product is entering their supply chains and diligently search for others in the far reaching tentacles of their corporate networks. EoF urges all buyers to select their suppliers by the quality of their forest conservation commitments and the action they are taking on eliminating illegally produced FFB and tainted CPO out of their supply chains.