InfoSAWIT, NUSA DUA –Civil Society, such as, Rainforest Action Network (RAN), Organisasi Penguatan dan Pengembangan Usaha-Usaha Kerakyatan (OPPUK), and International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), revealed their field investigations and labor interview from three palm oil plantations belonging to the biggest food producer in Indonesia, that is, Indofood, that becomes the single snack producer, PepsiCo in Indonesia.
The finding is formulated in a report called, “Tinjauan Ulang Korban Minyak Sawit Bermasalah: Peran PepsiCo, Perbankan dan RSPO dalam Melanggengkan Eksploitasi Buruh Indofood,”. It is the follow up on the report that once told one and a half years ago and revealed the violance of labor in the plantations belonging to Indofood. The report revealed that the same condition is just the same, including the high risk to the children and hard labor. The other findings are the workers are threatened by the toxic pesticide, get cheap salary, no work status as the workers that violates the regulation, and they could not make independent organization. Every violation is summarized and documented in the palm oil plantation having ‘sustainability’ certificate published by Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)– the advanced palm oil certification scheme – and relating to PepsiCo through Indofood.
"As the advanced palm oil industrial certificate institution, RSPO should be responsible on its members. RSPO should not certify the violation of labor and ignore their misery who face risks mentioned above,” Executive Director of OPPUK, Herwin Nasution said in the official statement to InfoSAWIT, Tuesday (28/11).
He also said, it is urgent that RSPO should do something to Indofood, should empower and improve the criteria and audit systems so that the labors are protected. “We do hope, the certification published based on the free exploitation,” he said.
The labor violation generally happens in palm oil industries. But Indofood as one biggest palm oil plantation in the world and the biggest food industry in Indonesia, is left behind of others. It is the biggest private palm oil company in Indonesia that does not improve the policy and practices to be the benchmark of responsible palm oil, such as, commit not to do deforestationn, not enlarge in the pet, not violate the human rights and workers, and should be done in the operational of the company and the third sides.
“It is embarassing for Indofood, PepsiCo, RSPO, and others. There have been violations of the labor in the palm oil plantations of Indofood and running for about one and a half years, but there is no change,” Agribusiness Campaign Director of RAN, Robin Averbeck.
Meanwhile, there is assumption saying that PepsiCo that becomes the lower level company among all, has published a palm oil policy in September 2015 but the company does not oblige Indofood as its partner to obey the policy. The weak palm oil policy implementation of PepsiCo makes hundreds of thousand consumers and civil organizations whole over the world symphaty to the labors and force the company to make significant action.
“The second investigation disappointed us very much. Having the multi-national company as its reputation, PepsiCo should be better actually,” Legal and Policy Director of ILRF, Eric Gottwald said.
The report also noted some recommendations to the banks and investors of Indofood that slowly do respond on the report, such as, Bank Central Asia and Bank Mandiri in Indonesia, Mizuho Financial Group, Japanese bank and palm oil companies, such as, Musim Mas and Wilmar that directly and indirectly supply palm oil from Indofood. (T2)