Sime Darby response to article raising environmental & cultural concerns over company’s operations in Liberia
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Sime Darby to respond to the following item:
- "A Nobel Laureate’s Problem at Home", Silas Kpanan'ayoung Siakor, Rachael S. Knight, New York Times, 20 Jan 2012 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/21/opinion/in-liberia-a-nobel-laureates-problem.html
In response, Sime Darby sent the following statement:
30 Jan 2012
“In the recent editorial, “A Nobel Laureate’s Problem At Home” published on 20 January 2012 the two authors managed to perpetuate a number of incorrect assumptions regarding Sime Darby Berhad’s operations in Liberia.
As the world’s largest producer of certified sustainable palm oil, more than 80% of the Group’s production has been certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Thus, as is the case with all the Group’s plantation operations, Sime Darby Plantation Liberia (SDPL) is required to adhere strictly to RSPO’s sustainability policies, procedures and protocols including the prohibition on clearing virgin forests.
We remain committed to the balanced development of the economy and the people of Liberia in line with the collective bargaining agreement of the Liberian workers’ union. And, once fully planted, Sime Darby Plantation’s estates in Liberia will create up to 35,000 jobs which will help to address Liberia's unemployment rate of 80%.
We also have and will remain actively engaged with local communities to inform them of development plans and to seek their consent. This responsible approach to production and CSR are the primary reasons behind our growth to date and will remain so in the future.”