KUALA LUMPUR Dec 2 Malaysian palm oil giant IOI
Group said it will abandon some 430 hectares (1,060
acres) of land in Indonesia in part settlement of a dispute over
allegations of illegal deforestation and planting.
It will continue to cultivate the rest of the land under
dispute - about 11,000 hectares - but would not market the palm
oil produced as having sustainability certification for a period
of about 30 years, the company said in a joint statement with
Amsterdam-based green group Aidenvironment.
"IOI regrets not having taken necessary actions to be in
full compliance with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil's
(RSPO) rules at all times," it said, referring to a grouping of
palm producers, activist groups and consumer companies that
provides sustainability certificates for the industry.
Palm oil is the most widely used edible oil in the world,
found in everything from margarine to cookies and soap. Grown
mainly in Indonesia and Malaysia, plantations have come under
scrutiny from activists and consumer companies in recent years,
particularly over the clearing of millions of hectares of
In 2015, Aidenvironment filed a complaint to the RSPO
against IOI Group over claims that the planter had illegally
chopped down rainforests in Indonesia and planted palm crops on
Aidenvironment said in the statement issued on Thursday that
it had raised all other matters with IOI for perusal and had no
further standing issues with plantation company.
IOI Group had its certificates of sustainability suspended
by the RSPO in April, but the suspension was lifted just four
months later, sparking criticism from environmental and consumer
(Reporting by Emily Chow; Editing by Richard Pullin)