New Palm Oil Refinery Threatens the Leuser Ecosystem

Brands must declare no-buy policies

RAN field investigators have identified PT. Rezeki Fajar Andalan as a new company complicit in the destruction of the globally renowned Leuser Ecosystem. PT. Rezeki Fajar Andalan operates a palm oil refinery and has been caught sourcing from one of the most controversial palm oil companies that has been blacklisted from global supply chains––PT. Surya Panen Subur II (PT. SPS II) for burning and destroying the “orangutan capital of the world.” 

The peatlands of the Leuser Ecosystem are the last stronghold for the Sumatran orangutan.

This latest investigation shows that major brands may once again be sourcing from this rogue palm oil company via this new actor in the palm oil supply chain in Sumatra. As a matter of urgency, Ferrero, Procter and Gamble, Mondelēz, PepsiCo, Mars, Nestlé and Unilever must place PT. Rezeki Fajar Andalan on ‘No Buy’ lists and demand that the company ceases sourcing from PT. SPS II and adopts a “No Deforestation, No Peatland and No Exploitation policy.” If the company fails to do so it should be permanently blocked from selling palm oil to these brands and the global market. 

A receipt documenting PT. Rezeki Fajar Andalan’s sourcing of Crude Palm Oil from one of the most controversial palm oil companies that has been blacklisted from global supply chains––PT. Surya Panen Subur II (PT. SPS II).

PT. Surya Panen Subur II’s Crude Palm Oil mill is responsible for the destruction of the Orangutan Capital of the World in the Tripa Peatland, in the Leuser Ecosystem. GPS Coordinate N 03º48’35.58″ E 96º29’38.06″ 

For several years, RAN has documented ongoing deforestation and land conflict by PT. SPS II and the company has been taken to court by the Government of Indonesia and fined for its violations of Indonesian law prohibiting the burning of peatlands. In response to the controversy, major brands such as PepsiCo and Nestlé declared ‘No Buy’ Policies for the rogue actor. In turn, their suppliers, Golden Agri Resources, Wilmar and Musim Mas imposed bans on sourcing from PT. SPS II––although to date not a single one of these palm oil giants is able to prove that these bans are being fully enforced. To date, they have also failed in ensuring that PT. SPS II established a transparent, credible and independent conflict resolution process to resolve conflicts with local communities affected by its failure to respect the rights of communities to withhold their Free, Prior and Informed Consent to development on their lands. Despite these failures these traders are still profiting from selling Conflict Palm Oil to major brands. 

PT SPS II continues to process and sell Conflict Palm Oil to the market––including a new palm oil company called PT. Rezeki Fajar Andalan. GPS Coordinates: N 03º48’35.47″ E 96º29’37.46″E 

PT. SPS II is one of several palm oil companies that is responsible for the destruction of the Tripa peatland which is located on the west coast of Aceh. This peatland was once called ‘The orangutan capital of the world’ because its rich peat forests supported some of the densest populations of Sumatran orangutans. In addition to providing important habitat, the Tripa peatland’s waterlogged soils are a significant store of carbon and, when destroyed, release massive carbon pollution. It is critical that brands, palm oil companies, communities and governments work together to halt further destruction of the remaining 4000 hectares of Tripa’s peat forests, resolve land conflicts by returning lands to customary communities, and that the companies responsible for its destruction do not profit from the destruction caused.  

Peat forests remain within the concession allocated to PT. Surya Panen Subur II in Tripa peatlands. GPS Coordinates: N 03º45’10.72″ E 96º30’17.54″