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Unilever Takes Tough Stance With Palm Oil Producer, PT Smart

April 7, 2010: 01:45 AM EST
The world’s largest palm oil buyer Unilever, will only resume purchasing palm oil from PT Smart, a Sinar Mas subsidiary, if the company is cleared after an investigation over allegations of illegal practices, or shows it has taken steps to ensure it is a sustainable provider. According to a Greenpeace report, Sinar Mas, Indonesia’s top producer of palm oil, is responsible for “widespread deforestation and peatland clearance” which contributes to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the devastation of rain forests. This led Unilever to cancel their $32 million yearly contract with Sinar Mas. Unilever and PT Smart together appointed two independent auditors, Control Union Certification and British Standard institute, to investigate validity of the environmental allegations. Nestlé, another palm oil buyer, has stopped buying from Sinar Mas while Cargill, a large agribusiness company, is threatening to remove the company from their supplier list due to the allegations.
Yayat Supriatna , "Unilever to resume buying CPO if Sinar Mas cleared", Reuters, April 07, 2010, © Thomson Reuters
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