December 12, 2018

POIG member linked to drainage of peat restoration areas

( - The Musim Mas Group (MMG), which is one of the members of POIG (Palm Oil Innovation Group), has been sourcing palm oil from the Makin Group (Gudang Garam) whose company has recently drained parts of Indonesia’s targeted peat restoration areas in the province of South Sumatra.

The palm oil company in question, PT Banyu Kahuripan Indonesia (BKI), has consistently exploited 2015’s burned peatlands, which have been targeted for restoration since mid-September 2016 by the Indonesian Peat Restoration Agency (BRG).

These peatlands, which have been drained for months during 2017-2018 to make way for a new palm oil plantation, also form part of the areas which have been LiDAR-mapped by the peat agency with the support of the Norwegian government.

In looking at the list of palm oil suppliers posted by Musim Mas on its website for the period October 2017-September 2018, the Makin Group’s name appears. 

The following Planet Explorer images show that Musim Mas is still purchasing palm oil from the Makin Group whose company (PT BKI) has been involved in draining peatlands to develop its new palm oil plantation in the abovementioned targeted peat restoration areas.   

In addition to Musim Mas, there are undoubtedly many other palm oil buyers whose supply chains remain linked to the new peat drainage carried out by the Makin Group palm oil company in question. These include  Nestlé and Unilever

Furthermore, CargillPepsiCo, and Mars, among many other large corporations, retain supply chains tainted by the development of these targeted peat restoration areas.

Growing list of lessons learned

Given that the supply chain of Musim Mas, a member of POIG, is connected to the draining of the targeted peat restoration areas in question, this serves as an additional lesson learned in terms of the workings of global palm oil supply chains.

This case also represents an additional lesson learned for the peat agency in that its targeted peat restoration areas encompassing 2015’s burned peatlands, despite having been LiDAR-mapped with funding support from Norway, are still targeted for palm oil expansion. 

A similar case to this, among others, previously took place in Central Kalimantan, as exposed by (Apr 23), where a palm oil company also developed a new palm oil plantation within peat areas that had been LiDAR-mapped by the peat agency.

Musim Mas was asked to respond to this matter by (Dec 12), but by the deadline given to it no response had been forthcoming, and nor did the company request additional time to give its response.