Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fonterra, Palm Oil and New Zealand

A Greenpeace investigation has revealed that the iconic New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra is implicated in Indonesian and Malaysian rainforest destruction, dead orangutans and driving global greenhouse gas emissions. By encouraging the use of palm-based animal feed from cleared rainforests; and, by pushing an intensive industrial farming model in New Zealand, Fonterra is actively contributing to one of the world's largest causes of greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenpeace New Zealand shows that through Fonterra's half-ownership of RD1, a major importer of Palm Kernel Expeller (PKE) for animal feed; and, ties to Wilmar International along with their industry model is driving New Zealand farmers to an ever-increasing use of animal feeds such as PKE. Fonterra is destroying rainforest and driving up New Zealand's contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions.

While Fonterra farmers (95% of New Zealand farms are part of the Fonterra cooperative) are using this feed to boost production, the cooperative is also involved in the PKE supply chain through its half-owned RD1 subsidiary. Remember RD1 has close links with Wilmar International - one of the world's biggest rainforest destroyers. The palm-based animal feed that RD1 imports comes exclusively from Wilmar.

Wilmar has been the at centre of much attention for its part in illegal forest destruction, illegal fires on carbon-rich peatlands, destruction of endangered animal habitat and creating social conflict by illegally taking community lands. Wilmar International has been at the center of palm oil criticism of late, with a recent internal audit by the World Bank's International Finance Corporation showing that Wilmar's practices were so socially and environmentally destructive that it should never have been eligible for financing.

Indigenous leader Raji Anis stands on his land once owned by three neighbouring villages. The land was taken from them by a palm company then cleared and burnt to plant palm. (C) GREENPEACE / Oka Budhi

Indonesia's rainforests are being destroyed faster than any other country in the world. It has already lost 72 per cent of its large intact ancient forests. Forest destruction, fires lit for clearing land for palm plantations and the conversion of carbon rich peatlands are major contributors to climate change.

Want to watch a scary movie? Well, watch this full screen and prepare to be terrified!

Via Greenpeace

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