Following ban, Sime Darby says Ferrero is not a customer

SIME Darby Plantation Bhd (SDP) said that Italian confectionery firm Ferrero, which is reportedly planning to stop sourcing palm oil from it, is not its customer and has not been for a while.

Neither are General Mills and The Hershey Company, which are also mentioned in the Reuters news report published earlier today, the plantation company said in a statement.

However, SDP confirmed that direct customer Cargill has decided to suspend all new sourcing of palm oil and derivative products from it, effective Feb 25.

“The supply of bulk products to Cargill in India has now been taken up by other customers. Nevertheless, SDP values all our customers and we are in discussions with Cargill on its decision,” it said.

According to the Reuters report, Ferrero said it will stop buying palm oil from SDP over forced labour allegations.

In an email to Reuters, Ferrero said that on April 6, it requested all direct suppliers to stop supplying Ferrero with palm oil and palm kernel oil sourced indirectly from SDP, until further notice.

SDP said it had committed to sustainable development and responsible business practices about 15 years ago.

“We take these commitments very seriously and have maintained a leadership position in the industry for well over a decade.

“Having said that, over the last several months, SDP has moved even further ahead, particularly in the area of labour rights.

“With all the measures that we have revised or instituted, some of which were published in our press release dated Feb 15, 2022, all stakeholders who are committed to sustainability and labour rights can be assured of SDP’s commitment and leadership in the industry,” it said.

SDP also said it is in regular communication with all its key stakeholders, particularly customers who have their own commitments.

“Through these engagements, we believe they would have an in-depth understanding and a better appreciation of our commitment to safeguard the safety and well-being of workers,” it said. – April 16, 2022

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