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Indonesia Palm Oil Facts

Climate warning

Investigation shows shadow companies linked to Indonesia palm oil giant First Resources

One of the world’s largest palm oil companies appears to have overseen a network of companies responsible for deforestation of tens of thousands of hectares, according to a new investigation published by The Gecko Project, a London-based investigative journalism organization. Indonesian conglomerate First Resources, like many agribusinesses, has announced voluntary commitments to guarantee no new deforestation for plantations. These “zero-deforestation” commitments have since expanded to account for the majority of the plantation industry, which experts credit in part for the reduction in forest loss in Indonesia for palm oil. However, there is growing evidence that some major oil palm conglomerates have established networks of smaller “shadow companies” that are not themselves subject to no-deforestation commitments in order to circumvent their own sustainability policies. In 2018, Mongabay reported on a similar network under the Asia Pulp & Paper conglomerate, owned by the billionaire Widjaja family. First Resources was founded by Indonesia’s Fangiono family. Martias Fangiono, the founder of the group, was sentenced to prison for corruption in December 2007. In the same month, First Resources was listed on the Singapore stock exchange, with Martias’ oldest son, Ciliandra Fangiono, as CEO. First Resources has consistently denied operating shadow companies. However, The Gecko Project gathered insider testimony and corporate documents linking the company and the Fangiono family to plantations clearing rainforest in Indonesian Borneo.

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27 more agrees trigger contact with the recipient

  • George Kariuki

    20 w

    Concerted efforts from governments, industry, and consumers are needed to ensure that deforestation-free palm oil becomes the norm rather than the exception.

    • Rotich Kim

      21 w

      Indonesia should consider and priorities in environment the issues about climate should be embrace and support with all means ✍️

      • Munene Mugambi

        21 w

        I think demand for palm oil is leading to such criminal activity. Let us find alternative means to palm oil and see the supply dwindle

        • Princess

          21 w

          This makes us question whether the promises they made to avoid deforestation are effective.

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