Indonesia's Palm Oil Industry Rife With Human-Righ by Loonlau963 on DeviantART
Indonesia's Palm Oil Industry Rife With Human-Righ by Loonlau963 on DeviantART
Indonesia's Palm Oil Industry Rife With Human-Righ by Loonlau963 on DeviantART
Indonesia's Palm Oil Industry Rife With Human-Righ by Loonlau963 on DeviantART
Indonesia's Palm Oil Industry Rife With Human-Righ by Loonlau963 on DeviantART

Indonesia's Palm Oil Industry Rife With Human-Righ by Loonlau963 on DeviantART

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  • 7/27/2019 Indonesia's Palm Oil Industry Rife With Human-Righ by Loonlau963 on DeviantART

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    INDONESIA'S PALM OIL INDUSTRY RIFE

    WITH HUMAN-RIGH BY ~LOONLAU963ON DEVIANTART

    http://loonlau963.deviantart.com/art/Indonesia-s-Palm-Oil-Industry-Rife-With-Human-Righ-388339225http://loonlau963.deviantart.com/art/Indonesia-s-Palm-Oil-Industry-Rife-With-Human-Righ-388339225http://loonlau963.deviantart.com/art/Indonesia-s-Palm-Oil-Industry-Rife-With-Human-Righ-388339225http://loonlau963.deviantart.com/art/Indonesia-s-Palm-Oil-Industry-Rife-With-Human-Righ-388339225http://loonlau963.deviantart.com/art/Indonesia-s-Palm-Oil-Industry-Rife-With-Human-Righ-388339225http://loonlau963.deviantart.com/art/Indonesia-s-Palm-Oil-Industry-Rife-With-Human-Righ-388339225http://loonlau963.deviantart.com/art/Indonesia-s-Palm-Oil-Industry-Rife-With-Human-Righ-388339225http://loonlau963.deviantart.com/art/Indonesia-s-Palm-Oil-Industry-Rife-With-Human-Righ-388339225http://loonlau963.deviantart.com/art/Indonesia-s-Palm-Oil-Industry-Rife-With-Human-Righ-388339225http://loonlau963.deviantart.com/art/Indonesia-s-Palm-Oil-Industry-Rife-With-Human-Righ-388339225http://loonlau963.deviantart.com/art/Indonesia-s-Palm-Oil-Industry-Rife-With-Human-Righ-388339225
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    What kind of oil should we buy? Luo Xiaohua shouts to hercousin from the cooking oil aisle in Yonghui Supermarket in theheart of Chongqing, a rising Chinese megacity. Luo, 50, is thequintessential Chinese shopper. She earns $3,250 a year and hasan elementary education. Shes fiercely opinionated about herpurchases. Luo stands before amber-hued bottles loaded with acommodity that fuels Chinas and Indias growing consumerclasses. From what I understand, all of these brands containpalm oil, she says. But they just dont say it on the label. She

    says shed prefer to use olive oil but cant afford it.Corporations have the power in this country, and consumershave to make decisions based on limited options.

    Palm oil and its derivatives are found in thousands of productsworldwide, from doughnuts to soap, lipstick to biodiesel.

    Globally, palm oil consumption has quintupled since 1990.Demand in Asia, where palm oil is widely used in cooking oil andnoodles, has driven the growth of a $44 billion industry. InFebruary, exports from Indonesia, the worlds largest producer ofpalm oil, hit a five-year high.

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    Shoppers such as Luo are at the heart of that boom. China is theworlds largest consumer of vegetable oil, of which palm oil is theworlds most-produced variety. Since the late 1970s, as the Chineseshifted away from traditional staples such as rice and grains and

    toward a higher-fat diet, palm oil imports have grown 150-fold. Asits grown, the palm oil industry has drawn scrutiny fromenvironmental activists in Europe and the U.S. They decry thedestruction of rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia to support oilpalm expansion, which threatens the natural habitats ofendangered species such as pygmy elephants and Sumatrantigers. The human costs of the palm oil boom, however, have been

    largely overlooked. A nine-month investigation of the industry,including interviews with workers at or near 12 plantations onBorneo and Sumatratwo islands that hold 96 percent ofIndonesias palm oil operationsrevealed widespread abuses ofbasic human rights. Among the estimated 3.7 million workers in theindustry are thousands of child laborers and workers who facedangerous and abusive conditions. Debt bondage is common, and

    traffickers who prey on victims face few, if any, sanctions frombusiness or government officials.

    STORY: An African Setback for the Palm Oil Industry

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    The U.S. government has highlighted the prevalence of human-rights abuses in the palm oil trade: A 2012 U.S. Department ofLabor report found that among the industries most notorious forforced and child labor were apparel, seafood, gold, and palmoil. But because palm oil companies face little pressure fromconsumers to change, they continue to rely on largelyunregulated contractors, who often use unscrupulous practices.The impact of any reform efforts will be limited unless the newconsumer giantsChina and India, which account for morethan a third of global palm oil importsare brought into thedebate. We have a Western-facing strategy on an Eastern-

    facing problem, says Dave McLaughlin, who overseesagriculture issues for the World Wildlife Fund. Among the worldsmost significant palm oil suppliers is Kuala Lumpur Kepong, a107-year-old Malaysian corporation. KLK, with revenue in 2012 of$3.2 billion, is by area the worlds fifth-largest palm oil plantationcompany. Its principal shareholder, a holding company calledBatu Kawan, is controlled by KLKs chief executive and his

    brother, both among Malaysias richest citizens. In labor-intensive cycles repeated across most of its 73 plantationestates, KLK relies on contractors who in turn enlist thousands oflow-wage workers. Those workers first prepare land for the palmgroves.

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    After three years, they manually harvest the palm bunches, whichcan each weigh up to 55 pounds and yield 3,000 fruitlets. Within 48hours of harvest, trucks carry those bunches, which last yearamounted to 3.3 million metric tons, to KLKs nearby mills. From

    there, crude palm oil is shipped for further processing at two KLK-owned oleochemical plants in Shanghai and Zhangjiagang, China,or elsewhere, before the refined palm oil or derivatives are sold intothe commodity and consumer markets.

    Interviews with former workers as well as statements recorded bylocal nongovernmental organizations reveal a tragic underside ofKLKs supply chain. These workers tell of being defrauded, abused,and held captive by representatives of a labor management firmcalled CV Sinar Kalimantan. Their claims of fraud are substantiatedby affiliates of the contractors, as well as by the labor contractsthemselves, copies of which were obtained by Bloomberg

    Businessweek.

    STORY: Indonesia Goes Green to the Dismay of Palm Oil Producers