Response from Briony Mathieson, Olam International
From: Briony Mathieson, Olam International
Olam’s palm business is using the Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Principles and Criteria as a baseline for our sustainability framework which we have bolstered with additional environmental and social measures. Olam has been recognised by African governments, such as Gabon, as an attractive and welcome investor due to our pioneering responsible, sustainable plantation strategy and the integrated economic opportunities it brings. Olam does not own the land on which the plantations sit, it is leased from the Government of Gabon as part of our Joint Venture agreement.
Olam is the first company to successfully complete the RSPO’s New Planting Procedure in Africa. This involved carrying out comprehensive due diligence processes including: a Social & Environmental Impact assessment, High Conservation Value assessment, and community engagement to obtain the free, prior and informed consent of local communities.
The development of oil palm plantations by Olam will create 7,100 jobs, 5000 new houses for workers and the building of schools, places of worship and medical clinics.
Olam’s palm policy is available at: http://olamonline.com/wp-content/files_mf/1324030944OlamPalmPolicy.pdf
NB: Although the President met with Olam in Singapore, this picture is of a meeting between Protek (Gabon Port Management) and the President of Gabon.
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