In 2013, Greenpeace revealed that the world’s largest palm oil trader- Wilmar International- was “guilty of setting fires on peatland, causing widespread deforestation and illegally clearing extensive areas of precious habitat for some of the world’s most vulnerable species.”1
But, what came out of that exposé was a promise from Wilmar: “no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation.”2

However, it now seems that Wilmar had no intention of keeping their promise:

“…they’ve completely failed to break ties to rainforest destruction and have instead chosen to continue perpetuating it in the name of lining their own pockets.

In the words of Greenpeace USA Palm Oil Campaigner Diana Ruiz, ‘The trail of palm oil destruction leads all the way from the rainforests of Papua, Indonesia to our shopping carts in the United States. Household brands like Unilever, Nestle, Colgate-Palmolive, and Mondelez have promised to only buy palm oil from companies that are not destroying rainforests or exploiting communities but our researchers discovered that they’re breaking this promise.’”3

In fact, Greenpeace researchers assessed the deforestation caused by 25 of the major palm oil producers and found that since the end of 2015, these groups have cleared over 130,000 hectares of rainforest with forty percent of the deforestation occurring in Papua, Indonesia, one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet and. Greenpeace also found that twelve brands were sourcing from at least 20 of the deforestation-driving palm oil groups: Colgate-Palmolive, General Mills, Hershey, Kellogg’s, Kraft Heinz, L’Oreal, Mars, Mondelez, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Reckitt Benckiser, and Unilever. 4 And Wilmar International? They were buying from 18 of the palm oil groups.


The investigation also uncovered evidence suggesting that these 25 palm oil operations are also “causing social conflicts, developing without permits, exploiting local citizens, and illegally turning protected areas into oil palm plantations.”5


These palm oil operations are utterly bad for the environment and the people; massive companies are stealing land from local citizens, destroying critically endangered animals’ habitats, and driving climate change through mass deforestation- WITH ZERO CONSEQUENCES.

It’s time to start boycotting these groups until they stop participating in the deforestation of some of the most important land we have left on the planet. 

Sources and References

  1. One Green Planet, September 19, 2018.
  2. One Green Planet, September 19, 2018.
  3. One Green Planet, September 19, 2018.
  4. One Green Planet, September 19, 2018.
  5. One Green Planet, September 19, 2018.