FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 12, 2017
CONTACT: Emma Rae Lierley, Emma@ran.org, +1 425.281.1989
Rainforest Action Network (RAN) Issues Response to IOI Group’s Updated “Sustainable Palm Oil Policy”
San Francisco, CA - Malaysian palm oil giant IOI Group released an updated Sustainable Palm Oil Policy today outlining several significant new environmental and social commitments. Specifically, the IOI Group has committed in its own operations and that of its third party suppliers to apply the newly revised High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) methodology and its associated social requirements; to ensure recruitment fees are not charged to workers at any stage in the recruitment process, in both receiving and sending countries; to pay all workers the statutory monthly minimum wage, regardless of production quotas, and to compensate workers for overtime work at the legally mandated rate; to allow trade unions access to workers on its plantations; and to adopt and implement the Free and Fair Labor Principles and UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The company has also committed to return all passports to migrant workers by the end of 2017.
Gemma Tillack, Agribusiness Campaign Director for Rainforest Action Network (RAN), responded by issuing the following statement:
"IOI Group’s announcement of a revised policy is an important step, which makes clear the company’s commitment to implement its no deforestation and human rights commitments using the credible methodologies and frameworks of the High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA), the Free and Fair Labor Principles, and UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
“Now IOI Group must rapidly implement these commitments, starting with addressing the most egregious impacts of its operations. IOI Group must urgently resolve its longstanding land conflict with the Long Teran communities in Sarawak, Malaysia, and publicly release a ‘zero recruitment fee’ policy and implementation plan to address ongoing risks of forced labor on its plantations.
“Brands like Unilever, Mars, Mondelēz, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Nestlé, Kraft Heinz, Campbell Soup, Hershey, Grupo Bimbo and other potential buyers of IOI Group’s palm oil need to ensure that IOI delivers on these new promises with real actions before rewarding IOI with new business.”
Rainforest Action Network, together with Greenpeace, Forest Peoples Programme and Grassroots, will continue to keep a watchful eye on IOI to ensure it meets the remaining Policy and Implementation Milestones outlined here.