Unilever agrees to clamp down on unsustainable palm oil

Unilever has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with an Indonesian state-owned palm oil plantation company to help produce the widely-used product more sustainably. The agreement with PT Perkebunan Nusantara […]

By Jonny Bairstow

Unilever has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with an Indonesian state-owned palm oil plantation company to help produce the widely-used product more sustainably.

The agreement with PT Perkebunan Nusantara (PTPN) will see the companies work to help mills and farmers reduce deforestation, avoid developing on peat areas and stop the exploitation of local people and communities.

The producers will go through a process to obtain a sustainability certification, which will include the training and skills needed to make the switch to a more sustainable business model.

Unilever says this will help the farmers increase their yields and improve their quality of life in the long term.

Adhering to a global set of green standards is also expected to help smaller farmers enter the supply chain more easily.

Erwan Pelawi, Operating Managing Director of PTPN, said: “The MoU with Unilever is expected to improve the quality of how smallholder farmers manage palm oil cultivation and will also accelerate the process of sustainable palm oil certification which will in turn provide better benefits for the welfare of oil palm farmers in Indonesia.”