Olam secures a US$176 million term loan from IFC and JICA

The funds will be used for the procurement of specific agri-commodities from smallholder farmers in Vietnam, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and Uganda as well as the expansion of Olam’s cocoa processing facility in Indonesia.

Land conflicts escalate with spread of COVID-19 in Indonesia

On March 21, security personnel from the palm oil firm PT Artha Prigel clashed with farmers in Lahat district, in South Sumatra province. Two farmers were killed in the fighting, the latest flare-up in a conflict that goes back nearly three decades. Locals accuse the company — a subsidiary of the Sawit Mas Group, which supplies oleochemicals to Procter & Gamble — of stealing their land. Activists have denounced the escalation in the conflicts, saying businesses shouldn’t be taking advantage of the country’s focus on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic to further their own — often illegal — interests.

Palm oil firm has farmers jailed for harvesting from land it stole from them

PT Hamparan Masawit Bangun, an affiliate to one of palm oil trader Wilmar International suppliers, has been operating illegally on community lands in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Now the company accused three indigenous farmers of stealing palm fruit from the land, an emblematic case of how corporations can weaponize law enforcement against communities over land disputes.