Environmental organization Greenpeace India has demanded that all Indian palm oil importers and corporate consumers immediately stop palm oil sourcing from Indonesian companies like Duta Palma who make palm oil by destroying forests and tiger habitat in Indonesia.
An investigative report issued by Greenpeace Indonesia released on Thursday links India's growing palm oil imports and corporate apathy to Duta Palma's destruction of hundreds of acres of Indonesian rainforests and tiger habitat in complete disregard of Indonesian government&# 39;s moratorium on such activities in the rainforest.
Big Indian corporates like Ruchi Soya, Adani -Wilmar, Godrej Industries, Parle, Britannia are among many who use Indonesian palm oil in their products on a large scale.
"Duta Palma's dirty oil could well be entering into their supply chains. Yet, so far, no Indian company has taken any visible steps to clean up their supply chain, to delink their brands from the large scale deforestation, " said Greenpeace.
"It is astonishing to witness the apathy and absolute irresponsibility in the Indian corporate sector. Indian companies are not only destroying tiger habitats and forests in India for coal mining but now they are going a step further by importing palm oil from questionable sources in Indonesia like Duta Palma. Indian companies should adopt a zero deforestation policy instead," said Nandikesh Sivalingam, forest campaigner for Greenpeace India.
Greenpeace India estimates India imports about 9 million tonnes of palm oil in 2012-13. India is the largest importer of palm oil in the world.
Field investigations by Greenpeace International reveal that Duta Palma annexed and cleared hundreds of hectares of forest outside the official boundaries of one of its concessions in Sumatra, Indonesia.
Investigators found that Indonesia' s Ministry of Forestry has not permitted the company to operate in this particular area, which is mapped as peatland, tiger habitat. This is a clear violation of the current forest moratorium.
The company has failed to answer Greenpeace Southeast Asia's requests for further information about its operations, the organization said.
Duta Palma has a long history of deforestation, community conflict, illegality, and non-compliance with Roundtable on Sustainable Oil (RSPO) regulations.
"Sustainabilit y certificates are only worth the paper they're written on if they're not enforced and trusted. Unless repeat offenders such as Duta Palma are sanctioned or expelled and the standard is tightened to stop deforestation, the RSPO and its standards will rightly be seen as a toothless tiger," said Wirendro Sumargo, Forest Campaigner, Greenpeace Indonesia.