In 2013, Wilmar, Asia’s largest agribusiness company, which controls 45% of global palm oil trade, announced it was committed to No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation. This commitment included the protection of High Carbon Stocks and implementing traceable sourcing policy for both its own plantations and third party suppliers. The announcement has set a responsible path forward for one of the most environmentally intensive commodities on earth.
We began working in palm oil in 2010 to help Nestlé bring about change in its global supply chain, developing a vision of a palm oil industry free of deforestation and human exploitation. Our varied palm oil work has taken us to all corners of the globe - from mapping supply chains in Australasia, to addressing social issues with oil palm plantations in Africa.
It is this experience of working with growers, mills and refineries that led us to develop an approach that can be used by any company to go beyond the commonly adopted certification model and help transform the palm oil industry. At the heart of this approach is a commitment to No Deforestation - something every TFT palm oil member commits to.
Inn 2011, Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), the world’s second largest palm oil plantation company, developed a ground-breaking methodology to change the way land is chosen for palm oil development. Some forests and peatlands store higher levels of carbon than others. If cut they will emit far greater amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. These lands are classified as High Carbon Stock (HCS) and will protected from any development across GAR’s operations. If other companies can be inspired by this, it could make a significant contribution to help lower CO2 emissions.
We are continuing to learn. Companies see the logic in our approach which focuses on transparency and practical engagement across the supply chain. NGOs see the sense it makes and have praised our members on their journeys so far. Positive transformation is happening in the palm oil industry.