Palm oil giant Wilmar International Limited aired its extreme disappointment at Greenpeace’s recent protest onboard a palm oil tanker off the coast of Spain, saying that the environmental organization preferred to seek publicity rather than work constructively with the palm oil industry.
In the company’s news release, Wilmar said it was “extremely disappointed that Greenpeace has chosen to continue its publicity-driven tactics instead of working constructively with the stakeholders of the palm oil industry, including Wilmar.”
Greenpeace has claimed that, following its own investigation, it found that Wilmar, as the main supplier of palm oil to Mondelez which produces brands such as Oreo, Cadbury, and Ritz, was continuing to supply it with “dirty” palm oil and therefore the organization has decided to take action, holding a protest on board the tanker which was on the way to Rotterdam last November 17, 2018.
The Wilmar release said that by calling the palm oil as “dirty”, Greenpeace had failed to recognize the fact that, compared to other sources of vegetable oil, palm oil had made the most progress and contribution to sustainability, including in mitigating deforestation. Greenpeace, it added, had also failed to recognize that palm oil was the most productive and versatile oil crop in the world, leaving far behind other sources of vegetable oil in terms of productivity.
“Palm oil is the most productive and versatile vegetable oil in the world, producing five times more oil per hectare per year that the next most productive oil crop, rapeseed, and up to 10 times more oil per hectare annually than soy,” the release said.
Wilmar also pointed out that the commodity has been contributing to alleviating poverty in a number of developing countries and that unfairly targeting palm oil could lead to more deforestation instead.
“Unfairly targeting the palm oil industry could result in more deforestation globally for other sources of vegetable oils,” the release said.
Wilmar deemed that Greenpeace has continued to use bullying techniques without taking into consideration the real facts concerning the palm oil industry.
“We have in the most transparent manner shared our action plans moving forward with Greenpeace, However, we continue to see Greenpeace employing bullying and scare tactics whilst refusing to engage meaningfully with the palm oil industry,” the Wilmar release said.
Wilmar stressed that it would continue to be a frontrunner in sustainability and do its part in the industry’s transformation, including for the more vulnerable growers.
“By campaigning against palm oil, Greenpeace’s tactic is hurting the smallholders the most, especially at this time when crude palm oil prices are at a global low,” the release stated.