Indonesia’s second largest palm oil producer fails to deliver on its sustainability policy

NGOs deem Astra Agro Lestari’s implementation of sustainability policy far too slow; question the company’s intentions to fully adhere to its commitments

Astra Agro Lestari, Indonesia’s second largest palm oil company, has failed to address several key gaps in implementing its sustainability policy that were identified in an assessment by several Indonesian and international NGOs last September. The NGOs—Rainforest Foundation Norway, Mighty, KKI Warsi, Yayasan Merah Putih Palu (YMP), and SumOfUs—sent Astra a letter last Thursday asking for a swift response to these gaps and other critical remaining questions. Astra already missed a December 5th deadline for providing this information which was originally requested in a letter dated September 26th. Soon after, Astra did reply asking for another meeting with the NGOs. While appreciating the answer, the NGOs are not satisfied.

“We want to see a detailed implementation plan and adherence to deadlines. There’s been enough talk, now we want to see real action,” said Anja Lillegraven, Head of the Asia and Oceania Department of Rainforest Foundation Norway. “Astra’s failure to implement its own policy is unacceptable and demonstrates that nice policies are not enough.”

Astra’s sustainability policy was announced in September 2015, following a major campaign that included the release of a report documenting massive deforestation and human rights violations within Astra’s concessions. The campaign also involved grassroots actions around the world aimed at Astra’s owner, the large conglomerate Jardines Matheson, and their luxury hotel chain, the Mandarin Oriental.

Astra’s failure to implement key aspects of the policy is reflected in these quotes from key NGO stakeholders:

- “Astra’s attempts at resolving conflicts and compensating human rights violations, as pledged in the policy, are far from satisfactory,” said Diki Kurniawan, Director of KKI Warsi, an Indonesian NGO that advocates for the rights for the Orang Rimba. “Members of the Orang Rimba indigenous group in Jambi Province are still living on the edge of starvation after they lost thei...baca selanjutnya...


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