San Francisco – Today the Associated Press reported on a new set of allegations of forced labor and human trafficking on the palm oil plantations of FGV Holdings Berhad (FGV). This is only the latest evidence in a long-standing saga of widespread, ongoing forced labor conditions on FGV plantations — one of Malaysia’s largest palm oil companies and a joint venture partner and major palm oil supplier to Procter & Gamble. Civil society has long advocated against the company and for the rights of the workers on FGV plantations, most recently by filing a Tariff Act complaint with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), seeking to block imports of FGV palm oil under the U.S. code that bans imports produced by forced labor from the US.
The Tariff Act petitioners, Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ – ILRF), Rainforest Action Network and SumofUs, released the following statement in response to today’s AP story,
“We have known for years that FGV continues to rely on forced labor and trafficked persons to work its palm oil plantations. Procter & Gamble and other major brands and agribusiness giants like Cargill have also known but continued to ignore the issue — proving that we cannot rely on companies to make good on their word to uphold human rights and end forced labor in supply chains.
“We call on the U.S. government to respond to our complaint and immediately block all shipments of FGV palm oil and its derivatives into the United States.”