A palm oil company can’t control a subsidy? Don’t be ridiculous

Golden Agri Resources, a palm oil company based in Indonesia, has stated its subsidy in Liberia, Golden Veroleum Liberia, can’t be controlled, and that therefore they cannot have any responsibility for the behaviour of its subsidy. Now quite apart from the fact that many of these subsidies are only paper companies, many of them are directly controlled by the same board as its parent company.
In particular the Round table for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) needs to tighter its rules. Golden Veroleum Liberia has been thrown out of the RSPO even though its parent company remains in. This makes a mockery of the organisation, as all a company has to do is set up a subsidy and it can behave badly, cutting down primary rainforest, stealing land and anything else that eases business.
Given the urgency, where such large amounts of the world’s remaining rainforests are being destroyed each year, we don’t have years to sort this. RSPO must grow some serious courage and live up to its founding ideals immediately. We are already seeing some people ceasing to trust the RSPO, and without dramatic action it will cease to have any point.

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