Wilmar co-founder Martua Sitorus resigns amid deforestation scandal

Wilmar co-founder Martua Sitorus resigns amid deforestation scandal

By: 
Samantha Chiew
04/07/18, 01:15 pm

SINGAPORE (July 4): Wilmar International’s co-founder, Martua Sitorus, has tendered his resignation a week following Greenpeace International's revelation of his links to Gama Plantation, a related palm oil business responsible for massive deforestation in Indonesia.

Gama is a palm oil business run by senior Wilmar executives and members of their family.

In addition, Sitorus’ brother-in-law, Hendri Saksti, who is the group’s country head for Indonesia has also resigned.

Wilmar in 2013 has committed to end its links to deforestation. But Greenpeace investigations revealed that Gama has deforested an area that came up to twice the size of Paris.

Responding to the news, Kiki Taufik, global head of Greenpeace’s Indonesia forests campaign, says, “This shows that Wilmar is determined to blame someone else for its failings. This is not just about Gama or Martua Sitorus. It’s about Wilmar’s refusal to do what it takes to keep forest destroyers out of its supply chain. If Wilmar is serious about reform, the first step is to prove its palm oil suppliers are clean by making them publish maps of all their concessions.”

Greenpeace is calling on brands and traders to suspend business with Wilmar until it has addressed the violations of its ‘no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation’ policy, starting by publishing concession maps for all producer groups within its supply chain.

Separately, RHB Research earlier today kept its “buy” call on Wilmar, highlighting that the ongoing market uncertainties and the recent retracement in share price as a good opportunity to accumulate the stock.

This also came despite concerns of trade tensions between US and China.

See: Ongoing market uncertainty makes it all the more opportune to 'buy' this stock

Shares in Wilmar are trading 3 cents lower at $3.04.

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