The truth about Cargill’s palm oil plantations in Borneo

posted by Rainforest Action Network

The truth is out! After months of investigations, RAN just released a report entitled CARGILL’S PROBLEMS WITH PALM OIL: A BURNING THREAT TO BORNEO.
Slideshow of report images

Our report reveals that Cargill is clearing and burning rainforests, displacing Indigenous and traditional communities and exacerbating climate change. While Cargill claims that it is committed to sustainable palm oil, it is violating its palm oil commitments, RSPO Principles and Criteria and Indonesian law. Check out our post on GRIST.

One of the things we uncovered in our investigation is that Cargill is also failing to disclose the ownership of at least two plantations where they are actively clearing rainforests. The two plantations, located on Indonesian Borneo, are operating without legally required permits, resulting in clearing and burning of rainforests and carbon-rich peatlands and significant conflict with traditional and Indigenous communities. On one plantation, Cargill has cleared 10,500 hectares of rainforest since its operations began in 2005 – an area as large as all four Walt Disney World theme parks!

In thinking about the majestic forests of Borneo -that were once havens for orangutans, Sumatran tigers and elephants- and the people who depend on it for their survival, it’s unconscionable to think that in this day and age companies are still getting away with such egregious and rampant destruction. It’s not enough for companies like Cargill to say that they are committing to “sustainable palm oil”, they need to take bold action now!

RAN is recommending that Cargill adopt and implement a comprehensive palm oil policy, which includes cleaning up its entire palm oil supply chain and supporting an immediate moratorium on any further deforestation or draining of peatlands for palm oil plantations. We are also recommending that Cargill customers, like General Mills, cancel their contracts with the company until or unless it agrees to our recommendations. Our report and full recommendations can be found at

The media is just starting to cover our report. The Minneapolis Star Tribune says, “Rain forest advocacy group slams Cargill: Rainforest Action Network says Cargill operating outside of sustainability guidelines.” We’ll keep you posted on other updates, especially the update where Cargill agrees to clean up its act and stop clearing rainforests for palm oil plantations.