CandyMakers Suspend But Fail To Engage PT SPS II To End Deforestation

Last year, thousands of people demanded that candymakers like Nestlé, Mars, Hershey’s, and Mondelēz suspend sourcing of Conflict Palm Oil from one of the worst rainforest destroyers, PT Surya Panen Subur II (PT SPS II), and pressure the company to restore the forests destroyed under its watch and to establish a credible resolution process for its land conflict with local communities.

Nestlé, Mars, and Hershey’s responded by announcing that they would suspend their sourcing from PT SPS II. Mondelēz failed to respond publicly to consumers’ concerns that its chocolates are tainted with Conflict Palm Oil. Unilever and PepsiCo also announced investigations into the cause of ongoing deforestation in PT SPS II’s concession but have so far failed to report on the results of their efforts, or on the status of their sourcing. 

Despite years of documentation of ongoing deforestation and land conflict in this concession, the actions of the Snack Food 20 and their suppliers — 3 of the world’s largest palm oil traders, Golden Agri Resources, Wilmar and Musim Mas — have fallen short of what is required to end deforestation in the Tripa peatland inside the Leuser Ecosystem.  

January 2019 satellite imagery showing forest clearing within PT Surya Panen Subur II’s concession within the Tripa peatland.
January 2019 satellite imagery showing forest clearing within PT Surya Panen Subur II’s concession within the Tripa peatland.

Recent satellite imagery shows that the forest cover within PT Surya Panen Subur II’s concession was reduced from 3731 hectares to 3710 hectares in January 2019. A further 3 hectares were cleared between January and February 2019. This ongoing forest clearing proves that these major brands and palm oil traders have failed to engage with their long-term supplier PT SPS II and have failed to ensure the establishment of a credible conflict resolution process (i.e. one aided by an independent and competent mediator).

PT SPS II has ongoing conflicts with local communities who have been impacted by the lack of recognition of their customary land rights, unfair negotiations for land compensation, intimidation, and noise and environmental pollution resulting from palm oil effluent and transportation. Only once an agreement to resolve these land conflicts in the Tripa peatland is secured will efforts to protect and restore Tripa’s peat forests and to secure alternative livelihoods for these impacted communities be successful.

The destruction of the Tripa peatland for Conflict Palm Oil must stop. Take action today by signing this petition and demand more from the candymakers. Join us as we work to ensure that remedy is delivered to local communities and that the Tripa peatland is restored to play the vital function it once performed — an orangutan capital of the world, a critical store of carbon, and a source of livelihoods for local communities.