Worker exploitation still widespread on Indofood palm plantations

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

A new report has exposed allegations of ongoing worker exploitation by Indonesian food giant Indofood, the country’s sole producer of PepsiCo branded snack food.

A worker harvesting palm oil. Photo by Lucy McHugh/CIFOR

The conditions were documented through field investigations and worker interviews on three palm oil plantations. All three plantations are certified as “sustainable” by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and linked to PepsiCo through its joint venture partnership with Indofood.

Allegations include several practices that create high risks of child labour and forced labour conditions. Workers are routinely exposed to highly hazardous pesticides, paid below minimum wage, illegally kept in a temporary work status to fill core jobs, and deterred from forming independent labour unions, violating their rights to freedom of association. Neither PepsiCo nor Indofood had responded to the allegations at the time of writing.

The report follows up on a previous exposé of exploitation by Indofood, which documented similar abuses 18 months ago.