Forest fires burn in palm oil concessions linked to global brands

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Fires have broken out inside palm oil concessions in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, belonging to suppliers to some of the biggest household brands in the world, according to analysis by Greenpeace Indonesia. This includes members of the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil, the industry’s sustainability certification body.

There has been a huge increase in the number of fire hotspots across Indonesia in 2018. As many as 9,819 fire hotspots have been identified this year so far in West Kalimantan, nearly three times the number identified in all of 2017.

One of the concessions, PT Sumatera Unggul Makmur, has burned every year since 2013, according to Greenpeace Indonesia’s analysis. It belongs to Gama, a palm oil company closely connected to the world’s largest palm oil trader, Wilmar.

Fire hotspots have also been recorded in concessions belonging to Bumitama and First Resources. All three producers have been supplying palm oil to major brands, including Mondelez, Nestlé and Unilever, via Wilmar and other palm oil traders.