Wilmar leads charge for palm oil’s deforestation-free future

Wilmar leads charge for palm oil’s deforestation-free future
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ tristan tan

Wilmar, the world’s largest palm oil trader, is positioning itself at the forefront of a push to make the controversial industry deforestation free.

In a joint statement with Aidenvironment and supporting consumer goods companies, Wilmar details its new supplier monitoring and engagement programme.

According to Wilmar, this will “accelerate its efforts towards a deforestation-free palm oil industry”.

The programme was developed to step up the effectiveness of its current ‘No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation’ (NDPE) policy while also intending to provide remediation for past deforestation by its third-party suppliers.

Wilmar said it will be supporting efforts by Aidenvironment to develop a comprehensive oil palm supplier group mapping database under the latter’s ‘Supplier Group Compliance Programme’, which will enable land development activities of Wilmar’s suppliers to be better monitored.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to our NDPE policy and this new enhanced plan is part of our sustainability strategy as we strive towards a supply chain free of deforestation and conflict,” said Wilmar’s Chief Sustainability Officer Jeremy Good.

“However, we must be mindful that our pursuit of sustainability goals does not inadvertently create a negative impact on the smallholders.

“As importantly, we must ensure that by raising the bar even higher, we do not contribute to a growing market of unsustainable palm oil, also known as the ‘leakage market’.

“Hence, we continue to place much importance on engagement so that we can continue to guide and assist our smallholders and suppliers towards compliance with our NDPE policy.”

Eric Wakker, Co-Founder of Aidenvironment Asia, added: “Companies in the palm oil supply chain will now gain better visibility into the plantation companies they source from in terms of their operational locations and especially their compliance with the NDPE policy.

“It will also allow companies to act faster against suppliers found to be involved in deforestation and peatland development.”