Pepsi cuts off Indonesian palm oil supplier over labor, sustainability concerns

first_imgConflict, Deforestation, Environment, Forced labor, Green, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Social Conflict, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests Banner image: Clusters of fruit from oil palm trees are cut from trees and collected in an ox-drawn cart. Photo by Bram Ebus for Mongabay. PepsiCo has announced the suspension since January 2017 of its business ties with IndoAgri, one of Indonesia’s biggest palm oil producers, citing concerns over the company’s labor rights and sustainability practices.IndoAgri has been criticized for alleged abuses of workers’ rights in some of its plantations in North Sumatra province.PepsiCo has demanded that IndoAgri resolve these outstanding issues before its considers resuming their business partnership. JAKARTA — PepsiCo has suspended its business with Indofood Agri Resources (IndoAgri), one of the largest palm oil companies in Indonesia, citing sustainability and labor rights concerns.PepsiCo, the U.S.-based company behind brands like Pepsi, Frito-Lay and Tropicana, primarily sources its palm oil from Indonesia, the world’s biggest producer of the commodity, where huge swaths of tropical forests and carbon-rich peatlands are being cleared to make way for palm plantations.It has a joint venture with the parent company of IndoAgri, Indofood, to produce some products, such as Lays-branded snacks, in the Southeast Asian nation.While IndoAgri is not a direct supplier to PepsiCo, it supplies palm oil to international traders which then sell to PepsiCo.“PepsiCo is very concerned about the allegations that our policies and commitments on palm oil, forestry stewardship and human rights are not being met,” PepsiCo said in a statement.It revealed that it had therefore decided to suspend procuring palm oil from IndoAgri for its joint venture with Indofood since January 2017.IndoAgri has been subjected to various environmental and social concerns, particularly over alleged labor rights abuse in some of its plantations.In 2016, the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), an international NGO; OPPUK, an Indonesian labor rights advocacy organization; and the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) published a report on alleged labor rights abuses on IndoAgri’s plantations in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province.The report documents how workers in the plantations are routinely exposed to hazardous pesticides, paid less than the minimum wage, illegally kept in a temporary work status to fill core jobs, and deterred from forming independent labor unions, among other findings.In 2017, a follow-up report was published, revealing that little progress has been made in addressing the labor rights issues, with IndoAgri only adopting cosmetic changes that fail to address the root causes of the abuse, such as putting up signs saying undocumented workers are banned, rather than formalizing these workers as employees or lowering harvest quotas.IndoAgri has also been the subject of separate complaints relating to deforestation and social or land conflicts.A 2017 report by Chain Reaction Research reveals that 42 percent of the land under Indofood Agri’s concessions is in dispute; some areas are the subject of community conflicts and labor controversies, some contain undeveloped peat and/or forest areas, some overlap with mining concessions, and others have no maps.Furthermore, at least 36 percent of the crude palm oil (CPO) processed in Indofood Agri’s refineries comes from undisclosed sources, according to the report.Robin Averbeck, the agribusiness campaign director at RAN, said that with the announcement, PepsiCo had admitted that its palm oil supply chain was tainted with high risks.“After years of denial, PepsiCo has admitted to the high risks associated with its palm oil supply chain and business partner,” she said in a statement. “Its partnership with Indofood is marred by years of labor violations and other practices that have produced nothing but Conflict Palm Oil for PepsiCo-branded snack foods.”Responding to the announcement and media coverage of it, IndoAgri confirmed that it had not been a supplier to PepsiCo since early 2017. The company also said it had complied with Indonesian labor laws and regulations.“We do not have any dispute or outstanding issue with any of our Labor Unions (we have a total of 10 Labor Unions) or the Indonesian Ministry of Labor,” IndoAgri CEO and executive director Mark Wakeford said in a statement. “We have also recently received a good compliment and zero accident award from the Indonesian Ministry of Labor.”The suspension, however, might be a temporary one; PepsiCo has left open the possibility of resuming its business relationship with IndoAgri if the palm oil firm can prove its commitment to sustainability.Last year, IndoAgri announced a new sustainability policy to address the labor rights issues and environmental concerns, with the company promising to not develop on peatland for any new development and to protect the rights of its workers, among other things.However, some green groups have identified weaknesses and loopholes in the new sustainability policy, especially those pertaining to labor issues.Eric Gottwald, the senior legal and policy director at the ILRF, said IndoAgri had failed to adopt a credible mechanism, in line with international standards set out in the U.N. Guiding Principle on Business and Human Rights, to address concerns from workers, communities and civil society organizations.“Instead, IndoAgri has made only a vague commitment that will allow it to pick and choose [which] grievances it will address,” Gottwald said in a statement.Chain Reaction Research, meanwhile, pointed out that IndoAgri had not adopted sector-specific labor standards. As such, improving its internal grievance mechanism with respect to management of human rights and environmental risks and impacts is among the issues that PepsiCo is demanding IndoAgri resolve.PepsiCo has also called on IndoAgri to provide more public information on the steps it has taken to address grievances; to take further necessary action to fully resolve the issues; and to join other stakeholders in discussing the systemic issues that exist in some oil palm plantations in Indonesia.“These steps are necessary for the potential re-establishment of palm oil supply from IndoAgri to the joint venture,” PepsiCo said. “We will also continue over the course of 2018 to review on a quarterly basis IndoAgri’s progress against the requested actions outlined above, and in that context we will continue the dialogue with our direct suppliers around IndoAgri-sourced palm oil in our supply chain, including the possibility of change of source.” Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Public access to Indonesian plantation data still mired in bureaucracy

first_imgdata, Deforestation, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Freedom of Information, Indonesia, Law, Mapping, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforests Indonesia’s agrarian ministry continues to hold out on releasing oil palm plantation data to the public, a year after the Supreme Court ordered it to comply with a freedom-of-information ruling.The ministry argues it is obliged to generate revenue from the release of such data, and that the lack of a payment mechanism prevents it from complying.It also initially dodged a request for similar data filed by the national mapping agency, citing the same reason, but complied after the anti-corruption agency intervened. JAKARTA — The Indonesian government has still not made publicly available its detailed maps and related documents on plantation companies operating in the country, a year after the nation’s highest court ordered it to do so in the interests of transparency.Linda Rosalina, a campaigner with the NGO Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI), which has been pushing the Ministry of Agrarian and Spatial Planning for the past three years to release the data, said there had been no progress in the year since the Supreme Court upheld a freedom-of-information order on the matter.“We’ve sent letters to the ministry, which they’ve replied to by saying the matter is being discussed internally,” Linda said. “We’ve sent letters asking for a meeting with the minister, Sofyan Djalil, and there’s been no response at all.”The battle began in 2015, when FWI filed a request with the ministry for data on right-to-cultivate permits for plantation and farming businesses, known as HGU permits.Each HGU permit includes details such as land boundaries, coordinates and the area of the concession, as well as the leaseholder’s name. The HGU documents are vital because withholding them enables land-grabbing, with companies often laying claim to community lands without showing their concession maps.FWI has reported an increasing number of land conflicts in plantation areas, from just 38 cases in 2013 to 723 in 2017.While maps for plantations are already published on the agrarian ministry’s website, those maps are not detailed enough to see the most recent legal status of those concessions.“The maps don’t say who the holders of the permits are and what kind of commodities” are being grown, Linda said.The ministry rejected FWI’s initial request, prompting the NGO in 2016 to bring its case to the Central Information Commission, or KIP, which processes freedom-of-information requests to the government. The KIP duly found in favor of FWI and ordered the ministry to release the requested documents.The ministry, however, appealed the order, arguing that releasing the names of leaseholders constituted a violation of the firms’ privacy. But the appeals fell flat as a series of courts, all the way up to the Supreme Court, sided with FWI.With the ministry refusing to cooperate, FWI has appealed to the national ombudsman, who is himself a former KIP commissioner. The NGO is also staging protests outside the minister’s office in an effort to force the ministry to release the data.“We filed a report with the ombudsman in August last year,” Linda said. “But to date the ombudsman still hasn’t given its recommendation. We don’t want to just sit still. That’s why we decided to launch a petition on petition on change.org.”The petition, begun two months ago, has now amassed more than 50,000 signatures. FWI has also launched a social media campaign with the hashtag #BukaInformasiHGU, or “release the HGU information.”An oil palm plantation in Malaysian Borneo. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Data paywallFor its part, the agrarian ministry insists there needs to be a mechanism in place to regulate how the public can access the data, which includes a paywall.Sofyan, the minister, said late last year that access to each piece of data should be priced at 50,000 rupiah ($3.50), per an existing regulation on state revenue. He said this kind of paywall for data was common practice in developed countries.The ministry also cited the lack of a payment mechanism for its initial refusal to provide HGU data to the National Geospatial Agency, or BIG, the Indonesian mapping authority.The BIG had sought the information to establish a single database for all government maps under its ambitious one-map policy. That project is expected to play a key role in resolving existing issues related to land ownership conflicts in the country. The government aims to launch the database in August, to coincide with the country’s independence anniversary.When the BIG eventually obtained the data it needed from the agrarian ministry, it was through the intervention of the national anti-corruption agency, the KPK.“The BIG came to the ministry, [but] the data wasn’t shared,” KPK commissioner Laode Muhammad Syarif said at a conference late last year. “Finally the BIG asked the KPK, and we asked [the ministry] to give [the documents] to the BIG.”Sofyan later said it was “not a problem” for the BIG to have access to the data, but that for the public there still needed to be a payment mechanism.Nurwadjedi, a deputy at the BIG in charge of the one-map policy, confirmed that some of the ministries that had submitted data to the BIG had revenue obligations with regard to the public release of the data. He said the office of the coordinating minister for the economy was drafting a regulation on a payment mechanism for public access to the maps in the one-map initiative.FWI’s Linda said the NGO had no objection paying for the HGU documents if the fee was reasonable. But she questioned whether the public should be charged for data that the freedom-of-information commission had already ruled constituted public documents.Suyus Windayana, the head of land data and information systems at the agrarian ministry, said he and other ministry officials had met with the ombudsman recently to discuss the release of the HGU data to FWI. However, he declined to disclose any details of the discussion.“We will be invited for another meeting [by the ombudsman] because we still have to talk about data security,” Suyus told Mongabay. Banner image: A patch of forest in Sumatra’s Riau province illegally cleared for an oil palm plantation. Photo by Rhett A Butler/Mongabay. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Hans Nicholas Jonglast_img read more

Rivoli’s Burke signs loan deal with USL club

first_imgRivoli United striker Cory Burke will not be signing for any of his club’s premier league rivals as he has already inked a 12-month loan deal with United Soccer League (USL) outfit Bethlehem Steel in Philadelphia, according to club vice president Ansel Smart. In a YouTube video, posted on the Premier Leagues Clubs Association’s Facebook page yesterday morning, Smart explained that the deal was signed last week. “This Club is Bethlehem Steel, a USL Club in Philadelphia. The contract was signed this week, a few days ago,” Smart said in the video. Burke is expected to leave for the United States in January. Smart said the deal is not a full transfer at this time. “It is a loan. We are looking for him to do good so we can transfer him next season,” he explained while describing the loan deal as an opportunity for Rivoli to once again put their name and players (Burke) on the international market.” Local premier league club Montego Bay United had expressed an interest in signing Burke, who has scored 12 goals in the current season. “We have an interest (in Burke). He is a top striker and we would love to have him. We expect that come January, a few of our players might leave, so we have to do some forward thinking,” Lincoln Whyte, a director of Montego Bay United told The Sunday Gleaner.last_img read more