Palm Oil's Human Cost Alleged in New Report
Indonesian plantations are accused of exploitative labor conditions and other harmful practices by a coalition of nonprofit groups.
Palm oil has oft been criticized for its alleged destructive impact on the environment—including clearing of tropical forests and peat swamps, destroying critical habitat for endangered species like orangutans, and contributing significantly to CO2 emissions. A new report released today adds to that list of impacts by alleging that the industry exploits at least some of its labor force.
The report, "The Human Cost of Conflict Palm Oil," details the results of an on-the-ground investigation into the conditions of workers on two representative palm oil plantations in Sumatra, Indonesia. The plantations are owned by Indofood, Indonesia’s largest food company and its third largest palm oil producer. It is also a partner of PepsiCo and produces all of PepsiCo’s products in