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Wilmar International Limited

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Wilmar International Limited describes itself as "Asia’s leading agribusiness group."[1] It was founded in 1991. Wilmar has been linked to human rights violations in Indonesia, where it has large palm oil plantations. Wilmar is owned in part by Archer Daniels Midland and by the Malaysian Kuok Group.[2] Wilmar supplies Unilever, Cargill, Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, and China Grains & Oils Group Corporation.[3][4]

According to the company's website:

"Our business activities include oil palm cultivation, oilseeds crushing, edible oils refining, sugar, specialty fats, oleochemicals and biodiesel manufacturing and grains processing. Headquartered in Singapore, Wilmar has over 300 manufacturing plants and an extensive distribution network covering China, India, Indonesia and some 50 other countries to support a well established processing and merchandising business. Wilmar also manufactures and distributes fertilisers and owns a fleet of vessels. The Group is backed by a multi-national staff force of more than 88,000 people."[1]

Human Rights Abuses

Destruction of Suku Anak Dalam Village on Sumatra

The entire 5,1000 hectares of ancestral land of the Anak Dalam Sungai Beruang group of indigenous peoples has been given to palm oil companies.[5] Among the palm oil companies with rights to their land is Asiatic Persada, a subsidiary of the Wilmar Group. The U.S. agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), in turn, holds a majority stake in the Wilmar Group.[6]

On October 10, 2011, agents of Asiatic Persada came to the village of Suku Anak Dalam in Jambi Province, Sumatra, Indonesia and began "forcibly evicting" residents, according to accounts of villagers reported in the Jakarta Globe.[5] A total of 82 families in three hamlets were evicted. The villagers report that they have lived there since 1920.

"“We don’t know why they did that,” he said. “But some time before it happened, there were reports that outsiders had been camping on the periphery of the existing plantation and stealing the oil palm fruit. We explained to the company that none of us were involved in that, but they didn’t respond.”"

A letter sent to the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil with a complaint on the matter reads:[7]

"After PT Kresna Duta Agro Indo (PT SMART) commtted violence on 6 members of Karang Mendapo village in early January 2011, PT Asiatic Persada (Wilmar Group) did the same to the indigenous people of Suku Anak Dalam living in Sungai Beruang, Danau Minang, Sungai Buaian and Dusun Tanjung Lebar, Muaro Jambi district. Not only did the company arrest 18 residents, along the mobile brigade (BRIMOB) it demolished 30 houses in Sungai Buaian, and 40 others in Sungai Beruang. The company (and the BRIMOB) has also been blockading access to the 4 sub-villages for a week, effectively cutting off the economic and information access of the locals."

A more dramatic account of the incident reads:

"August 10th marks the low point in a long tragic history: A special operations force unit of the police and security forces of the palm oil company Wilmar used bulldozers and guns to storm the small village of Sungai Beruang which is located in the middle of a big palm oil plantation 40.000 hectares in size. A man was badly injured, when the combat units were shooting around, ransacking and destroying 40 homes. The inhabitants fled in panic into the forest, crossing the palm oil plantation. Some of them are still missing. Since then, the entire plantation is surrounded by paramilitary fighters, so the inhabitants cannot go back. No one can come out, no one can get in. In this way, journalists shall be prevented from publishing pictures of the devastation.
"“They don’t want any witnesses or any proof of their violence”, says Feri Irawan, head of our partner organisation Perkumpulan Hijau in the province of Jambi, Sumatra. Feri managed to take pictures and make videos of the destruction and the casualties and send them to us. Furthermore, he confronted the provincial government and the police with his material and pressed charges against the Brimob troops."[8]

The Wilmar Group responded, saying the villagers were "laying claim to land to which it had no right."[5] Wilmar's statement on the case calls the accusations against it "gross distortions."[9]

Archer Daniels Midland and Kuok Group Ownership of Wilmar

In 2007, "Wilmar International, was formed through a US$4.3-billion merger between Kuok’s PPB Oils and Wilmar, which involves not only the Kuok family, but also ADM and China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Import & Export Corporation (COFCO), China’s largest food company and one of its most aggressive investors in agrofuel production. Through the merger, ADM becomes Wilmar International’s second largest shareholder."[10]

Palm Oil Holdings

Wilmar Internation holds "around 435,000 hectares of oil-palm plantations" and 25 refineries in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. "Through its alliance with ADM, it has a 300,000-tonne-per-year biodiesel refinery in Singapore, and [as of July 2007] the two companies have another three refineries set to come into production in Riau, Indonesia, each with a capacity of 350,000 tonnes per year, as well as a refinery in Rotterdam with a capacity of 1 million tonnes per year, making Wilmar easily one of the largest biodiesel producers in the world. The company, through its Malaysian subsidiary Josovina, is also to be the exclusive palm-oil supplier to Global Bio-Diesel, a 500,000-tonne-per-year biodiesel operation being built in Malaysia by the South Korean company Eco Solutions."[10]

Contact Information

Web: http://www.wilmar-international.com/

Resources and Articles

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Corporate Profile, Wilmar International, Accessed October 19, 2011.
  2. Strong Shareholder Base, Wilmar International, Accessed October 19, 2011.
  3. World's biggest palm oil trader shamed: Company involved in forest fires, deforestation and illegal activities," Friends of the Earth Europe, July 3, 2007, Accessed October 19, 2011.
  4. "How Unilever's Palm Oil Suppliers Are Burning Up Borneo," Greenpeace.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Fidelis E. Satriastanti & Camelia Pasandaran, "Sumatran Tribe Say Lands Stolen for Palm Oil, The Jakarta Globe, September 19, 2011, Accessed October 19, 2011.
  6. Cargill & ADM Support Community Conflict in Indonesia," Rainforest Action Network, September 26, 2011, Accessed October 19, 2011.
  7. Subject: Complaints Letter about Violence on the Indigenous People of Suku Anak Dalam committed by PT Asiatic Persada (the Wilmar Group), Letter to the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil, August 19, 2011.
  8. Indonesia Victims of Palm Oil Need Our Help, Rainforest Rescue, Accessed October 18, 2011.
  9. "Wilmar Statement on Jambi Case," Wilmar International, August 30, 2011.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Corporate power: The palm-oil biodiesel nexus, GRAIN, July 22, 2007, Accessed October 19, 2011.

External resources

External articles