On 19 September 2022, Rainforest Action Network released the “Carbon Bomb Scandals: Big Brands Driving Climate Disaster For Palm Oil”. The report claimed, a new investigation exposes consumer goods companies still buying illegal palm oil from protected wildlife reserve in Sumatra’s Leuser Ecosystem (Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve). The report states that Global Sawit Semesta mill sources non-compliant Fresh Fruit Bunches that came from Mr Mahmudin’s allegedly illegal plantation inside the Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve and were delivered via a palm oil broker called CV Natama Prima.
Apical carried out investigation on the allegation and engaged with PT Global Sawit Semesta (GSS) for clarification.
Based on investigation covering traceability data, supplier Weighbridge information and field verifications, the information below was obtained:
- PT Rudning Putra Persada (PT RPP) is not a supplier of PT GSS;
- Ibu Nasti in Runding, Subulusalam and PT. Bangun Sempurna Lestari are not suppliers of PT GSS;
- Mr. Mahmudin in Trumon, South Aceh
- PT Natama Prima (or “collection point A” as shown in Annex 1 of PT GSS Clarification Letter) is a supplier of PT Global Sawit Lestari (PT GSS), an Apical supplier.
- PT Natama Prima sourced from 3 estates (Mahmudin 1,2,3), which are located on legally-permitted (APL) and non-forested areas. PT GSS had verified the locations physically at sites, and overlaid the GPS locations with Spatial National Map of Indonesia. It is clean and clear for smallholder estates.
- The Mahumudin oil palm plantation, entrance, and “collection point B” (claimed illegal, as shown in Annex 2) presented in the report is located at a different location (away to the south);
- A Weighbridge ticket showing FFB delivery from PT Natama Prima to PT GSS does not form a valid basis to assume any FFB delivery from collection point B to another collection point A (PT Natama Prima), then to PT GSS. No evidence was presented in the report to verify this claim. Additionally, the travel distance between collection point B and PT GSS is 96km.
- Based on investigation, PT GSS confirms that the collection point B (illegal source) is not a supplier of PT GSS;
- PT GSS has taken immediate action to cease sourcing from all the Mr. Mahmudin’s estates.
The investigation demonstrates due diligence carried out by PT GSS on FFB sources, and the alleged illegal FFBs is not part of the PT GSS supply chain.
Apical has informed its suppliers not to source from this alleged illegal source, and we will continue monitoring the actions implemented to ensure all FFB must come from traceable and NDPE compliant sources.