PALM OIL COMPANY LEAVES RSPO AFTER COMPLAINT BY SHIPIBO IN PERU'S AMAZON

Plantaciones de Pucallpa (PP), one of the so-called 'Melka Group' companies, has withdrawn from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) following a complaint made against them by an indigenous Shipibo community in the Peruvian Amazon. The community, Santa Clara de Uchunya, together with indigenous organization FECONAU and NGOs IDL and Forest Peoples Programme, allege that PP cleared more than 5,000 hectares of their territory in the Ucayali region in the central Peruvian Amazon in order to establish an oil palm plantation, thereby violating Peruvian and international laws regarding indigenous peoples’ rights and deforestation as well as RSPO’s own principles and criteria. PP announced its withdrawal in a letter to the RSPO just days before the RSPO was expected to issue a final judgment on the complaint by Santa Clara, which also stated that the company has now 'divested all its palm oil estates, land, related activities and equipment and. . . has no involvement in the palm oil industry.' (09-11-16)

David Hill