Wednesday June 22, 2011

KLK plans to complete RSPO certification in Malaysia by 2013

PENANG: Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK) will pursue the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification on its remaining plantations and mills in Johor and Belitung Island, Indonesia despite allegations by an environmentalist group that it had breached a two-year Indonesia’s forest clearing ban.

“We have to handle any allegations whether we like it or not. There will always be those out there interested to prove us wrong.” said KLK sustainability general manager Sin Chuan Eng.

“It is unfair to penalise a plantation company by suspending its RSPO certification process when some of the allegations are in areas which have just been partially RSPO-certified. There are avenues such as the compensation schemes to land owners and going through the issues with the RSPO grievance panel,” he said at the ISP NATSEM yesterday.

He said KLK was targeting to complete the RSPO certification for its operations in Malaysia by 2013 and in Indonesia by 2014.

The group is producing close to 180,000 tonnes of certified sustainable palm oil from its Sabah operations.

On Monday, KLK group plantations director Roy Lim denied breaching the forest clearing ban in Indonesia as claimed by London-based Environmental Investigation Agency.

However, he noted that KLK had stopped an “over eager” contractor from making an unauthorised clearing of a small logged over area that was a small part of one of its concessions in Borneo.

In a related development, another green activist group Rainforest Action Network (RAN) criticised the United States largest palm oil importer Cargill which had been sourcing palm oil from KLK.

RAN said KLK was recently documented as having illegally logged natural rainforests on carbon rich peat lands on May 19 which violated the Indonesian government’s new moratorium on logging.

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