Liviya James

Global Investors Push Fast Food Giants to Cut Meat’s Environmental Impact

A coalition of more than 80 global investors representing more than $6.5 trillion has sent letters to six of the world’s largest fast food companies urging action to reduce environmental devastation caused by their meat. In dispatches sent to McDonald’s, Yum! Brands, Restaurant Brands International, Chipotle, Wendy’s, and Domino’s Pizza, the investors cite concerns about the financial and reputational risks to companies that fail to reduce the greenhouse gas, water, and land impacts of their meat, and highlight steps the companies need to take to reduce these risks.

“It is clear that the public is waking up to the environmental devastation caused by the meat industry,” said Lucia von Reusner, Campaign Director for Mighty Earth. “The private sector has an obligation to act responsibly, and investors understand that burning the planet to produce meat is not a good long-term business strategy.”

Meat production has a larger environmental impact than nearly any other human activity, and the top meat and dairy companies are responsible for widespread water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions nearly equal to the largest oil companies. Mighty Earth has released several reports documenting the environmental devastation caused by the largest meat companies, like Tyson and Cargill, and highlighted opportunities to reduce these impacts through more sustainable farming practices for sourcing feed and managing manure.

The investor letters call on the fast food companies – who represent more than 120,000 restaurants around the world – to set requirements for their suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, address freshwater impacts, and report regularly on progress toward these goals.

Mighty Earth is leading a campaign to build public pressure on major meat companies like Tyson and Cargill to adopt policies to stop deforestation and reduce water pollution caused by their meat supply chains. Food companies that buy large quantities of meat have significant influence over the supply chain, yet a recent analysis from Mighty Earth found most food companies – including supposedly ‘green’ sellers like Whole Foods – have no policies to ensure their meat suppliers are using environmentally responsible practices.

“Customers are increasingly looking for more sustainable food options and expect their favorite brands to be using responsible suppliers, not directing their dollars to top environmental polluters like Tyson and Cargill,” von Reusner said. “Food companies have set requirements to address issues like antibiotic overuse and animal welfare in the meat industry, and now it’s time to require environmental protections as well.”

China’s Largest Food Trader Announces Support for Ending Deforestation in South America, Putting Pressure on US-Based Cargill

COFCO, China’s state-owned food processing company and the country’s largest food trader, has announced support for an extension of the Amazonian Soy Moratorium to the other forest and savannah regions of South America and new efforts to address deforestation in commodity supply chains. In response, Mighty Earth CEO Glenn Hurowitz released the following statement:


“COFCO has recognized that you don’t need deforestation to supply China’s food. Indeed, COFCO knows that protecting native ecosystems is both essential to safeguarding food security and an ‘ethical imperative.’


“Scientific studies have shown that continued deforestation in South America will dramatically reduce soy harvests within 25 years and have demonstrated that agriculture can be expanded on Latin America’s more than one billion acres of degraded land without threatening native ecosystems or climate. We’ve been advising COFCO on the implementation of their sustainability policies and have seen clear signs of their commitment to act.


“In calling for an expansion of the highly successful Amazonian Soy Moratorium to other endangered ecosystems in South America, COFCO has joined industry leaders Louis-Dreyfus and Wilmar. There’s simply no excuse for laggards like Cargill to continue driving deforestation.”

Additional resources


Rapid Response Success Stories

Success Stories

Mighty Earth’s Rapid Response monitoring system is leading to faster interventions by palm oil traders to address cases of deforestation and peatland development in their supply chains. Our work has had an impact on stopping deforestation and new peatland development, as well as driving greater transparency on grievance documentation and resolution by traders.  In fact, since launching rapid response, there has been universal adoption of public grievance tracking by all the traders that we’ve communicated with on the project.

Rapid Response has given palm oil traders the information and incentives to secure moratoria on further plantation development, publish new grievance protocols and grievance trackers, engage with non-compliant suppliers to bring them into compliance, and suspend non-responsive suppliers from their supply chains.

Here are a number of success stories where intervention by traders resulted in stopping deforestation. However, while this is an important first step, each of these companies needs to take further actions to be fully compliant with traders’ No Deforestation, No Peat, and No Exploitation (NDPE) policies. These include adopting a Group-level NDPE policy that requires them to adhere to the High Carbon Stock Approach methodology and implementing recovery plans to remediate the impacts of past non-compliance.  

Success Story 1: Anglo Eastern Plantations

Anglo Eastern Plantations (AEP) was found to be clearing forest in its PT Kahayan Agro Plantation concession in Central Kalimantan, as detailed in Rapid Response Report 1.  Between October 16, 2016 and September 26, 2017, an estimated 420 hectares of forest was cleared, including the habitat of Bornean orangutan. Prior to October 2016, an estimated 3,593 hectares of forest were cleared, including over 700 hectares of orangutan habitat.  Grievances were filed with a number of traders, including Bunge, Cargill, GAR, Louis Dreyfus, Olam, Wilmar, and Astra Agro Lestari.

As a result of suspensions and trader engagement, AEP announced a moratorium on any further forest clearance until it completes a High Carbon Stock (HCS) assessment.  In early 2018, AEP appointed PT Meganesia Tirta Foresta to conduct this assessment.


Success Story 2:  Tabung Haji Plantations

PT Persada Kencana Prima, a subsidiary of Tabung Haji Plantations (TH Plantations), cleared and developed a total of 3,708 hectares of peatland forest and non-forested peatland between January 2015 and July 2017. TH Plantations adopted a moratorium on further land development in PT Persada Kencana Prima in July 2017 after a Greenpeace report exposed deforestation and new peatland development in the concession.  However, between April 7 to June 20, 2018, a further 217 hectares of peatland forest were cleared – as documented in Rapid Response Report 5. Evidence on this case has also been published by other NGOs.

A number of traders – ADM, Cargill, GAR, IOI Group, Louis Dreyfus, Musim Mas, Olam and Wilmar – have either suspended trade with Tabung Haji Plantations or engaged with Tabung Haji Plantations, directly or through their third-party suppliers, calling on the company to honor its moratorium on deforestation. As a result of this engagement, Tabung Haji Plantations recommitted to its agreement to complete High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) forest assessments before any further development takes place.

Between April 7 to June 20, 2018, a total of 217 hectares of peatland forest were cleared.

Success Story 3:  Widya Corporation

PT Mulia Inti Perkasa is part of the Widya Corporation. Between May 11 to July 19, 2018 a total of 30 hectares of forest were cleared in the PT Mulia Inti Perkasa concession, as documented in Rapid Response Report 6.

Traders, including ADM, GAR, and Wilmar, engaged with Widya Corporation regarding this case, either directly or through third-party suppliers.  In August 2018, Widya Corporation informed buyers that they have ceased all land clearing activities in the PT Mulia Inti Perkasa concession. HCS and HCV assessments are now being conducted.

Satellite imagery shows that for the period May 11 to July 19, 2018, a total of 30 hectares of forest were cleared.

Success Story 4: Gama Group

PT Agriprima Cipta Persada, which is part of the Gama Group, was featured in Rapid Response reports 3 and 4.  PT Agriprima Cipta Persada cleared 2,847 hectares of forest in 2015 and 2016, and cleared or degraded a further 185 hectares of forest between November 2017 and June 2018.  PT Agrinusa Persada Mulia, another Gama Group concession, was also featured in Rapid Response Report 3. Between May and November 2017, 2,361 hectares of forest were cleared in this concession.

A number of traders – ADM, Bunge, Cargill, GAR, Louis Dreyfus, Musim Mas, Olam, and Wilmar – have engaged with Gama Group, directly or through their supplying traders, or suspended trade with the company.  As a result of this engagement, as well as ongoing campaigns by other NGOs including Greenpeace, in August 2018, the Gama Group issued a moratorium on further forest clearance, applicable to all of its group controlled concessions and operations.  Soon after, Gama Group released a group-wide NDPE palm oil policy.

PT Agriprima Cipta Persada (PT ACP) is located in Papua province. It covers an area of 59,796 hectares.

Suspended suppliers

Engagement efforts by a number of traders has also led to the suspension of non-compliant suppliers from their supply chains when the supplier refuses to halt the ongoing clearance and adopt a group level NDPE policy.  More than 50 individual cases of suspensions have been reported to be linked to Rapid Response cases, which have reduced the market access for many rogue plantation groups and suppliers. As a result of our outreach to the palm oil industry, a number of the worst companies have been suspended by major palm oil traders with NDPE polices.

Here are a few examples: 

Austindo Nusantara Jaya (ANJ Group) has had ongoing deforestation in its PT Permata Putera Mandiri (Blok I) concession in West Papua, Indonesia, which has been highlighted in multiple Rapid Response reports, beginning with Report 3.  Every trader engaged by Rapid Response on this case has suspended trade with the ANJ Group.

Hayel Saeed Anam Group (HSA)/Pacific Inter-Link is another company that has been linked to ongoing forest clearance, in two concessions in Papua, Indonesia:  PT Kartika Cipta Pratama and PT Megakarya Jaya Raya, featured in multiple reports beginning with Rapid Response Report 5.  Every trader engaged by Rapid Response on this case has suspended trade with HSA/Pacific Inter-Link.

BLD Plantation Bhd has been clearing forest and destroying peatlands in Sarawak, Malaysia, as featured in multiple reports beginning with Rapid Response Report 4.  Every trader engaged by Rapid Response on this case has suspended trade with BLD Plantation Bhd.


About Rapid Response

About Rapid Response

Over the last several years, the private sector has dramatically increased its commitment to intervene with those suppliers involved in deforestation and peatland development.

Many of the world’s largest food and agriculture companies have adopted ‘No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation’ (NDPE) policies aimed at eliminating such practices from their supply chains.  Satellite monitoring data has become more sophisticated and affordable, making it possible for companies and governments to capture and respond to deforestation incidents more quickly than ever before.  Such remote sensing data has proven highly valuable for helping reduce or eliminate deforestation where there is a clear business or government mandate for action.

In the fall of 2017, Mighty Earth – supported by MapHubs, Aidenvironment and Planet – launched a Rapid Response monitoring system to identify deforestation and new peatland development across 3000+ oil palm concessions in Indonesia and Malaysia. The total area currently monitored covers around 21 million hectares, or 208,000 square kilometers, an area more than twice the size of Portugal.  Mighty Earth plans to expand the system to monitor other geographies and commodities, including soy, cattle, rubber, and cocoa.

This Rapid Response monitoring program utilizes Global Land Analysis & Discovery (GLAD) tree cover loss alerts from the University of Maryland to generate a list of the top potential incidents of deforestation and/or peatland development documented in the past month within palm oil concession boundaries in Indonesia and Sarawak, Malaysia.  The GLAD alerts information is then confirmed using images generated by Planet’s nano satellites. In addition to the case studies identified through GLAD alerts analysis, the team also incorporates other cases studies brought to Mighty Earth’s attention via partners and independent research. The team then identifies supply chain and financial links between the plantations and the world’s largest agricultural buyers.

PT Krida Dharma Kahuripan located in Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan.

To date, the Rapid Response program has identified deforestation and peatland development in oil palm concessions in Papua, West Papua, Sumatra, and Kalimantan in Indonesia, as well as Sarawak in Malaysia. These cases have been linked to dozens of companies and their parent groups, such as ANJ Group, BLD Plantations, and Tsani Hutani Abadi Group.

The evidence is published in Rapid Response reports which are sent directly to global palm oil traders that control the majority of the global trade in palm oil, with the expectation that swift action can be taken with their suppliers to stop these incidents before they grow into large-scale events. 

Mighty Earth’s work has driven results from companies that have a public and transparent grievance tracking process, including a log of filed grievances and progress updates.

See our Success Stories to learn more about the impact of our work.


Mighty Earth responds to Tyson Announcement of Partnership to Implement Sustainable Feed Sourcing Commitment

Nine months after announcing its commitment to improve sustainability practices for 2 million acres of its animal feed, Tyson has released details on how it will begin implementing this goal. Tyson Foods has partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund to pilot sustainable farming practices on 500,000 acres of U.S. corn, and publicly communicate its progress. While still lacking substantial details, this announcement is an important step towards providing transparency and insight into Tyson’s plans for making its supply chain more sustainable.

“Industrial meat production is one of the most polluting activities on the planet- causing significant water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and destruction of native ecosystems like grasslands and forests” noted Mighty Earth CEO Glenn Hurowitz. “As one of the world’s largest meat producers, Tyson has significant influence over farming practices used to raise meat and has a responsibility to put agriculture on a more sustainable path."

Tyson has faced growing public scrutiny and concern about the environmental devastation being caused by its supply chain, which is driving widespread water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions throughout the United States. The bulk of Tyson’s environmental impact comes from producing the vast quantities of grain used in animal feed, as well as the disposal of manure.

"In order to drive real improvements, Tyson must require all suppliers to use farming practices like cover cropping, fertilizer efficiency, conservation tillage, and native ecosystem protections for growing animal feed, and adopt a responsible manure management policy that prevents further contamination of our nation’s waters," said Mighty Earth Campaign Director Lucia von Reusner.

Mighty Earth has been leading a nation-wide campaign to raise public awareness and mobilize pressure on Tyson to improve farming practices for feed and manure that would reduce water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have joined the campaign, as have shareholders concerned about the growing risks to Tyson from ongoing water pollution.

See more about Mighty Earth’s #CleanItUpTyson campaign here.

Mighty Earth Rapid Response Report 11

Mighty Earth Rapid Response Report 11

VIew as PDF

Indonesian companies: PT Krida Darma Kahuripan, PT Internusa Jaya Sejahtera, PT Putera Manunggal Perkasa, PT Senabangun Aneka Pertiwi, PT Borneo Agro Sawit, PT Mempawah Permai Lestari, PT Kartika Cipta Pratama, PT Persada Era Agro Kencana, PT Pinang Witmas Abadi, PT Sumur Pandanwangi

Malaysian companies: LPF/0006 Samling-Lana, BLD Plantation, LPF/0042

December 2018 

Prepared with support from Aidenvironment and MapHubs

PT Krida Dharma Kahuripan



Concession Information: PT Krida Dharma Kahuripan is located in Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan. The concession covers an area of 13,382 hectares1. (Long: 113°21’2.52″E, Lat: 1°35’59.06″S)





Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between July 10 and November 20, 2018, a total of 345 hectares of forest were cleared in the PT Krida Dharma Kahuripan concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc.)

Ownership Information: 

No ownership information available.

PT Krida Dharma Kahuripan has previously been reported to be part of the Makin Group. The company claims that the location permit (ILOK) of PT Krida Dharma Kahuripan was returned to the local government (Katingan Regency) in July 2017 and the concession land is categorized by the government as production forest area and therefore cannot be converted to plantations.

Supply chain information: 

No supply chain information available


PT Internusa Jaya Sejahtera



Concession Information: PT Internusa Jaya Sejahtera is located in Papua province. The concession covers an area of 25,395 hectares3. (Long 140°48’22.6″E, Lat 7°19’30.0″S)





Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between October 9 and December 4, 2018, a total of 253 hectares of forest were cleared in Area A of the PT Internusa Jaya Sejahtera concession. Also, between October 6 and December 11, 2018, a total 382 hectares of forest were cleared in Area B of the PT Internusa Jaya Sejahtera concession . (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc. & Landsat 8 Imagery 2018)

Ownership Information: 

Group: Indonusa Agromulia Group/Indonusa Group

PT Internusa Jaya Sejahtera is part of Indonusa Agromulia Group. Indonusa Agromulia Group is commonly known as Indonusa group. PT Internusa Jaya Sejahtera is owned by Rosna Tjuatja (99.87%). She sits as the Commissioner on the Indonusa Agromulia Group and also serves as President commissioner at PT Profindo International Securities4.

Supply Chain Information: 


PT Putera Manunggal Perkasa



Concession Information: PT Putera Manunggal Perkasa is located in West Papua province. The concession covers an area of 34,310 hectares5. (Long 132°21’17.93″E, Lat 1°53’45.09″S)



Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between October 29 and December 4, 2018, a total of 28 hectares of forest were cleared in Area A of the PT Putera Manunggal Perkasa concession. Also, between October 29 and December 4, 2018, a total 167 hectares of peat forest were developed in Area B of the PT Putera Manunggal Perkasa concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc. & Landsat 8 Imagery 2018)

Ownership Information: 

Group: Austindo Nusantara Jaya Tbk (ANJ Group)

PT Putera Manunggal Perkasa is a subsidiary of Austindo Nusantara Jaya Tbk (ANJ Group). Mr. Geetha Govindan is the President Director of Austindo Nusantara Jaya Tbk.6

Supply Chain Information: 


PT Senabangun Aneka Pertiwi




Concession Information:  PT Senabangun Aneka Pertiwi is located in Paser district, East Kalimantan Province. The concession covers an area of 20,011 hectares8. (Long 116° 14′ 04′′ E, Lat 2° 14′ 13′′ S)




Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between September 28 and November 27, 2018, a total of 163 hectares of forest were cleared in the PT Senabangun Aneka Pertiwi concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc.)

Ownership Information: 

Group: Jhonlin group

PT Senabangun Aneka Pertiwi is owned by the children of Haji Syamsudin Andi Arsyad (Haji Isam), Liana Saputri and Jhonny Saputra, through PT Citra Agro Raya and Araya Agro Lestari. Haji Isam is the owner of Jhonlin group.9

Supply Chain Information: 

No supply chain information available.


PT Borneo Agro Sawit




Concession Information: PT Borneo Agro Sawit is located in Berau district, East Kalimantan. The concession covers an area of 21,157 hectares10. (Long 117° 26′ 09′′ Lat E 2° 16′ 18′′ N)



Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between September 24 and November 29, 2018, a total of 121 hectares of forest were cleared in the PT Borneo Agro Sawit concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc.)

Ownership Information: 

No ownership information available.

Supply Chain Information: 

No supply chain information available.


PT Mempawah Permai Lestari

Concession Information: PT Mempawah Permai Lestari is located in Bengkayang district, West Kalimantan. The concession covers an area of 7,511 hectares11 . (Long 109° 13′ 54″ E Lat 0° 37′ 26″ N).



Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between September 4 and December 3, 2018, a total of 80 hectares of forest were cleared in the PT Mempawah Permai Lestari concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc.)

Ownership Information: 

Group: Bee Garden Holdings Sdn Bhd

PT Mempawah Permai Lestari is part of Bee Garden Holdings Sdn Bhd, which is owned by Puan Sri Tan Bee Hong.

Supply Chain Information: 

No supply chain information available.

PT Kartika Cipta Pratama




Concession Information:  PT Kartika Cipta Pratama is located in Boven Digoel Regency, West Kalimantan. The concession covers an area of 40,882 hectares13 (Long 140°12’31.6″E, Lat 6°20’26.6″S)



Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between November 7 and December 6, 2018, a total of 227 hectares of forest were cleared in the PT Kartika Cipta Pratama concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc.)

Ownership Information: 

Group: HSA Group

In 2012, four UAE holding companies (Prestige Holding Ltd., Malindo Investments Ltd, Crescent Investments Ltd, and Green Resources Ltd) believed to be affiliated with the Yemen-based HSA Group purchased 80% stake of each of these four companies located in the Boven Digoel district of West Papua, Indonesia: PT Megakarya Jaya Raya, PT Kartika Cipta Pratama, PT Graha Kencana Mulia and PT Energi Samudera Kencana. PT Megakarya Jaya Raya and PT Kartika Cipta Pratama are two concessions involved in Tanah Merah project in Boven Digoel Regency. These concessions cover a combined 155,330 hectares. Since January 2014, around 5,000 hectares of forest have been cleared in PT Megakarya Jaya Raya and PT Kartika Cipta Pratama.

Up until June 5, 2018, the four plantation companies had Fouad Hayel Saeed Anam listed as President Commissioner on their notary acts. Fouad Hayel Saeed is Regional Director-Malaysia of the HSA Group and Managing Director of Pacific Inter-Link, the group’s subsidiary. Legal documents also listed Salah Ahmed Hayel Saeed as Commissioner of PT Energi Samudera Kencana & PT Megakarya Jaya Raya and President Director of PT Graha Kencana Mulia & PT Kartika Cipta Pratama. Hayel Saeed is Director of Pacific Inter-Link’s refining division, PT Pacific Palmindo Industri. Recent notary acts confirm that on June 5, 2018, Fouad Hayel Saeed ceased to be President Commissioner of PT Megakarya Jaya Raya and PT Kartika Cipta Pratama, and Salah Ahmed Hayel Saeed is no longer Commissioner of PT Megakarya Jaya Raya and President Director of PT Kartika Cipta Pratama. Nakul Rastogi also disappeared from PT Kartika Cipta Pratama’s notary acts.

However, June 5, 2018 notary acts does not show any change in PT Megakarya Jaya Raya, PT Kartika Cipta Pratama, PT Graha Kencana Mulia and PT Energi Samudera Kencana shareholders. Hence, it is assumed that these companies remain affiliated with the HSA Group. Little is known about the new directors of the two concessions, except that some notable individuals in Indonesian politics and business are involved. Mr. Alwi Abdurrahman Shihab, former Foreign Minister of the Indonesian government, has become President Commissioner of PT Megakarya Jaya Ray. Drs. Tommy Sagiman is now the commissioner of PT KCP. He is ex-Inspector General of the police. Nata Singh Gurdev Singh became director of PT Megakarya Jaya Raya in June 2018. Until April 2018, he worked for Sime Darby. Alwi Abdurrahman Shihab is the Indonesian President’s special envoy to the Middle East and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

The HSA Group is one of the oldest business conglomerate in the Middle East, founded in 1938 by Al Haj Hayel Saeed Anam and his brothers Mohamed, Abdo and Gazern. The Group is today headed by Abdul Gabbar Hayel Saeed, CEO and Chairman. The HSA Group is involved in the palm oil industry through its subsidiaries PT Pacific Palmindo Industri, PT Pacific Medan Industry, PT Pacific Indopalm Industries, Pacific Oil & Fats Industries and Pacific Inter-Link, which are all RSPO members14, and PT Pacific Indomas.

Additional evidence shows continued family links to the PT Tulen Jayamas Timber Industries timber complex, a joint-venture project with Bumimas Raya Sdn Bhd, Pacific Inter-Link Sdn Bhd, Yakin Dijaya Sdn Bhd and Al Salam Bank Bahrain’ announced by Tadmax Resources in 2012.15 The PT Tulen Jayamas Timber Industries timber complex is situated within the PT Kartika Cipta Pratama concession.

Malindo Investments Ltd which holds 80% shares in PT Kartika Cipta Pratama (see above), also holds 40% of the shares in the Malaysian-based parent company of PT Tulen Jayamas Timber Industries – i.e. Tulen Jayamas Sdn Bhd. Mr. Salah Ahmed Hayel Saeed and Mr. Fouad Hayel Saeed Anam are directors of Tulen Jayamas Sdn Bhd, in addition to their positions in the Indonesian subsidiary (PT Tulen Jayamas Timber Industries) as of 28 April 2018.

Supply Chain Information: 

The HSA Group company Pacific Inter-Link (PIL) used to trade with IOI and Nestlé, however both companies have suspended trade with the company due to concerns over its involvement in deforestation. Pacific Inter-Link claims to be one of the largest palm oil traders to the Middle East, Africa, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.16


PT Persada Era Agro Kencana




Concession Information: PT Persada Era Agro Kencana is located in Katingan district, Central Kalimantan. The concession covers an area of 12,933 hectares17. (Long 113° 17′ 02′′ E, Lat 2° 34′ 09′′ S).



Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between September 25 and December 1, 2018, a total of 200 hectares of peat were developed in Area A of the PT Persada Era Agro Kencana concession. Also, between October 31 and December 5, 2018, a total 189 hectares of peat forest were developed in Area B of the PT Persada Era Agro Kencana concession. (Imagery © 2018 Sentinel Imagery 2018)

Ownership Information: 

Group: Mulia Sawit group

PT Persada Era Agro Kencana is a subsidiary of Mulia Sawit group. Mulia Sawit group is owned by Kurnia Lukman Goutama, Tjio Andre Yenatha, Kevin Wusman and Sanjaya Lukman. Tjio Andra Yenatha, known as Andre, also serves as a Director of PT Bangun Jaya Alam Permai of the Best Plantation Group.


Supply Chain Information: 


PT Pinang Witmas Abadi




Concession Information:  PT Pinang Witmas Abadi is located in Kuburaya district, West Kalimantan. The concession covers an area of 10,510 hectares19. (Long 109° 37′ 06′′ E, Lat 0° 08′ 03′′ S).



Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between October 22 and December 9, 2018, a total of 79 hectares of peat forest were developed in the PT Pinang Witmas Abadi concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc.)

Ownership Information: 

Group: Pundi group

PT Pinang Witmas Abadi is owned by PT Pundi Bhakti Khatulistiwa through PT Pundi Lahan Khatulistiwa (Pundi Group), which is an independent company located in Kubu Raya, West Kalimantan. Currently, the Director of Pundi Bhakti Khatulistiwa is The Kie Hok, who also serves as the President Director of PT Pundi Lahan Khatulistiwa. Mr. Suryadi Polem is the main shareholder in both PT Pundi Lahan Khatulistiwa and PT Pundi Bhakti Khatulistiwa.20 Ownership of PT Pundi Bhakti Khatulistiwa is shown below.

Supply Chain Information: 


PT Sumur Pandanwangi




Concession Information:  PT Sumur Pandanwangi is located in Seruyan Regency, Central Kalimantan. The concession covers an area of 7,492 hectares.21 (Long: 112°36’52.62″E, Lat: 3°19’29.78″S).



Peat Development:

Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between November 5 and December 10, 2018, a total of 269 hectares of peat were developed in the PT Sumur Pandanwangi concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc.)

Ownership Information: 

Group: Musirawas

PT Sumur Pandawangi is part of the Musirawas Group, which owns three plantation companies which operate in the Seruyan and East Kotawaringin districts of Central Kalimantan. Together they hold a total land bank of 34,000 hectares, with roughly 24,000 hectares producing oil palm. Musirawas has four operational palm oil mills.

The founder of oil palm operations is Mr. Widjojo Soejono, who was a General in the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI). Each of his five children control 20% of the shares in PT Sumur Pandawangi (through PT Panca Bumisari Utama and PT Mahesi Agri Karya). 22

Musirawas Group also holds shares in other plantations companies affiliated with Asam Jawa. PT Panca Bumisari Utama holds 36% of the shares in PT Sapta Karya Damai, 10% in PT Palma Prima Plantation and 27.5% shares in PT Asam Jawa, which in turn controls 80% of the shares in PT Palma Prima Plantation and 92% of the shares in PT Sawitmas Nugraha Perdana.

Supply Chain Information: 


LPF/0006 Samling-Lana




Concession Information:  PT Samling-Lana is located in Sarawak, Malaysia. The concession covers an area of 82,124 hectares23. (Long 109°17’49.76″E, Lat 0°17’31.81″S)




Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between September 12 and November 30, 2018, a total of 104 hectares of forest were cleared in the LPF/006 Samling-Lana concession (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc.)

Ownership Information: 

Group: Samling group

License Plantation Forest (LPF)/0006 Lana is issued to Samling Reforestation (Bintulu) Sdn Bhd (SRB) – a subsidiary of Syarikat Samling Timber Sdn Bhd (SST) in Sarawak, Malaysia and a member of Samling group. The Samling group – which was founded by Tan Sri Yaw Teck Seng, a Malaysian businessman – is engaged in timber, oil palm, property and automotive business ventures. Samling group.

Supply Chain Information: 


BLD Plantation




Concession Information: BLD Plantation Bhd is located in Sarawak, Malaysia. The concession covers an area of 20,158 hectares26. (Long 111°47’22.67″E, Lat 2°35’49.80″N)



Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between August 26 and December 6, 2018, a total of 1,283 hectares of peat forest were developed in Area A of the BLD Plantation concession. Also, between October 12 and December 2, 2018, a total 24 hectares of peat forest were developed in Area B of the BLD Plantation concession. (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc.)

Ownership Information: 

Group: BLD Plantation Bhd

BLD Plantation Bhd is part of the KTS group of companies. The group is controlled by the Lau family and their relatives, as well as the Wan Hamid family. Dato Henry Lau Lee Kong is the Executive Chairman of BLD Plantation, while Mr. Haji Wan Abdillah bin Wan Hamid is the group’s Executive Director. Lau is also the Honorary Secretary of the Sarawak Timber Association (STA).

Supply Chain Information: 






Concession Information: LPF/0042 is located in Lundu district, Sarawak. The concession covers an area of 4,773 hectares28. (Long 109° 56′ 03′′ E, Lat 1° 31′ 07′′ N).




Satellite imagery (see below) shows that between September 4 and December 3, 2018, a total of 52 hectares of forest were cleared in the LPF 0042 concession (Imagery © 2018 Planet Labs Inc.)

Ownership Information: 

Group: Unknown

License Plantation Forest (LPF)/0042 is issued for Polima Forest Bintulu Sdn Bhd in Lundu, Sarawak, Malaysia. The main activities of Polima Forest Bintulu Sdn Bhd are forestry and logging.29 The Director of Polima Forest Bintulu Sdn Bhd is Dato’ Ngieng Ping Wei, a Malaysian businessman30. There is a palm oil mill within LPF 0042, and based on the satellite imagery, the clearing looks similar to that done for oil palm development.

Supply Chain Information: 

No supply chain information available.


Sources for supply chain information: 

Supply chain information included in this Rapid Response report is based on the following publicly disclosed sources and direct communications with these companies. Mighty Earth encourages companies to send updated versions of mill disclosures as soon as they become available and any decision to terminate supplies with a given company listed in those mill disclosures; please send to [email protected].


Launch of agroforestry app "CanOvaLator"

Launch of agroforestry app "CanOvaLator"


If you want to get involved, help or ask questions, click here.

SumofUs Shareholder Resolution




SumOfUs members filed a shareholder resolution against one of the biggest chocolate companies in the world – Mondelez and Cadbury – asking them to clean up their act for forests and farmers.



La industria chocolatera arrasa con los bosques de Costa de Marfil, según el informe de una ONG

El Pais | December 10, 2018 

The illegal logging of trees to increase cocoa plantations in the African country persists despite the commitments made by large firms.

Read more

Inspirational film: “The Chocolate Case” about ending slavery in cocoa

Screening and discussion in London: Thursday 06 December 2018 6:30pm to 9:00pm. 

Is eating chocolate linked to child slavery? Watch this entertaining and shocking documentary film about the journalists investigating global chocolate production.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, LSE IDEAS, United Nations Cinema and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands present a screening of The Chocolate Case, followed by a panel discussion on the links between responsible business, consumers, and modern day slavery. Hosted by LSE IDEAS, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in London and United Nations Cinema in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building. (Speakers, Arjen Boekhold, Dr Marjolein Busstra, Charlotte Williams Dr Mary Martin).

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEChocolate

Watch the Full documentary – only until the end of December!

For the duration of this advent calendar, you’ll be able to watch this film for free, right here:


Were you moved? Want to help?

Do you want to help the real life heroines and heroes in the film, and make a difference?

Want to organize a screening for the film?


Share the love?

Click on this Call-To-Action button so that you can become one of Tony Chocolonely’s Serious Friends, and find out all the ways you can get involved.

Message from Tony’s Chocolonely: A slave free cocoa industry by creating strong cocoa farmers

Tony's Chocolonely

Let’s start from the beginning: our mission is to make chocolate 100% slave free. In order to achieve our goal we follow five key sourcing principles: traceable beans, a higher price, strong farmers, a long term relationship with our partner farmers and better quality and productivity. In this blog we’re focusing on strong farmers. Why is this so important to create a slave free cocoa industry? What measures need to be taken to make farmers stronger?

Child labor is not a choice

Let’s say you’re an Ivorian (from Ivory Coast) farmer. You’ve had little education, you’ve got no car, no land security and you make about a dollar a day. The farm gate price you receive for your crop is only $2.03 per kilogram (at least, that’s what it was in 2017) and you’ve got no other sources of income. On top of that, your cocoa harvest is about 1,000 kilos per year. That’s not huge.

Poverty is the main cause of illegal child labor in West Africa. To prevent illegal child labor and modern slavery is to eradicate poverty. Not by handing out cash, but by creating strong farmers.

Invest in cooperatives

A cooperative simply means uniting farmers pursuing a common goal to create a strong position. One farmer alone might not be able to afford pesticides or fertilizer. A cooperative, however, is able to supply pesticides for all members for a lower cost per person. Besides supplies, a cooperative may contribute in education in fertile farming. A cooperative means scale advantages.

Organize general annual meetings

One way to involve farmers in the organization of cooperatives is to organize annual meetings. An annual meeting is the perfect opportunity for each involved party (farmers, cocoa buyers) to learn about each other’s objectives and to ask critical questions. General annual meetings provide farmers with insight to the rest of the value chain.

Tony’s annual general meetings

In our case we used these meetings as a chance to celebrate and to put the farmers we work with in the spotlight. We traveled around with our fresh, new Tony’s party truck, we brought Ivorian comedian Magnific along with us and we hosted a concert.

General annual meetings boring?

Not with us, pal.

New Report: Corporate Promises Failing to Stop Cocoa-Driven Deforestation

New Report: One Year In, Chocolate Industry Commitments Fail to Stop Deforestation

Over half of Ivorian protected areas reviewed saw deforestation increase after corporate pledges

ABIDJAN AND WASHINGTON, DC, DECEMBER 7, 2018 – Despite the chocolate industry’s pledge to cease sourcing cocoa linked to deforestation one year ago, a new Mighty Earth report finds that deforestation in West Africa for cocoa has continued, and in some cases has increased. The report, Behind the Wrapper: Greenwashing in the Chocolate Industry, identifies deforestation hotspots, including in protected areas and national parks, putting some of the last refuges for forest elephants and chimpanzees at risk and threatening the stability of the regional climate. In Côte d’Ivoire, satellite analysis recorded approximately 13,748 hectares of deforestation in the cocoa-growing Southwest region alone, between November 2017 and September 2018. This forest loss is equivalent to 15,000 football fields.

Last year, the world’s largest chocolate and cocoa companies like Hershey’s and Lindt stood beside representatives of the two primary cocoa-producing countries, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, and committed to transform their industry, creating the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI). They pledged to end deforestation linked to the production of cocoa, and promised to make the production of cocoa compatible with environmental protection and human rights.

Approaching the one-year anniversary of these commitments, Mighty Earth used a combination of satellites, drones, and on-the-ground field teams to identify how – and if – these commitments are being implemented in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

The report found that over half of the Ivorian forest areas reviewed showed an increase in their rates of deforestation since the announcement of the CFI one year ago. This deforestation violates the most fundamental tenet of the chocolate industry’s and governments’ commitment: to end new cultivation of cocoa in national parks and protected areas.

“The governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana have clearly failed to clamp down on this ongoing deforestation,” said Etelle Higonnet of Mighty Earth. “The chocolate industry has spent the last year celebrating itself for its commitments to immediately cease deforestation from cocoa, but the chocolate industry continues to buy cocoa from suppliers linked to the destruction of some of West Africa’s last forests.”

Mighty Earth’s field team documented that farmers who engaged in deforestation for cocoa were still able to openly sell their cocoa to chocolate companies without repercussions. Farmers caught clearing forest for cocoa told investigators that they did not face sanctions, any cuts in supply chains, or even warnings. In the Goin Debé classified forest, for example, not much had changed since Mighty Earth’s initial 2017 investigation. One forest had been cleared and planted with cocoa just two days before researchers arrived – in the same protected area inspected less than a year prior. The field investigation documented children laboring in cocoa fields as well.

“Mighty Earth applauded the commitments made last year, but we know that corporate pledges are only as valuable as their follow-through,” said Higonnet. “We did document some areas where clear progress has been made, so we know it’s possible for companies and local authorities to make positive change. But companies like Cadbury and SucDen still refuse to accept global deforestation-free policies. Unacceptable deforestation and child labor is still happening in front of our eyes. Industry and the governments in cocoa producing countries must address the unacceptable discrepancy between commitments and implementation. And they must do so urgently, before the next deforestation ‘peak danger season’ – which begins in January – irreversibly damages the ecosystems of West Africa.”

Nouveau rapport : Un an après, les engagements du secteur du chocolat ne parviennent pas à stopper la déforestation

Nouveau rapport : Un an après, les engagements du secteur du chocolat ne parviennent pas à stopper la déforestation

Un accroissement de la déforestation a été enregistré dans plus de la moitié des aires protégées inspectées en Côte d’Ivoire, après les engagements des grandes entreprises du chocolat.

ABIDJAN ET WASHINGTON, DC – 7 DÉCEMBRE, 2018 — Malgré les engagements pris l’an dernier par les grands chocolatiers en faveur d’un cacao sans déforestation, le dernier rapport de Mighty Earth révèle que la déforestation liée au cacao s’est poursuivie en Afrique de l’Ouest, et s’est même intensifiée dans certains endroits. Le rapport intitulé Chocolat : mensonges sous emballage a identifié des points chauds de déforestation, y compris dans des aires protégées et des parcs nationaux. Ce phénomène met en danger les derniers refuges des éléphants de forêts et chimpanzés du pays et menace la stabilité climatique de la région. En Côte d’Ivoire, des analyses satellites ont montré qu’entre novembre 2017 et septembre 2018, rien que pour la région cacaoyère du sud-ouest, environ 13 748 hectares de forêt ont été détruits, soit l’équivalent de 15 000 terrains de football.

L’an dernier, les principales entreprises du secteur du chocolat et du cacao comme Hershey’s et Lindt se sont engagées aux côtés des représentants de la Côte d’Ivoire et du Ghana, les deux plus grands producteurs de cacao au monde, à transformer la filière en créant l’Initiative Cacao et Forêts (ICF). Ces derniers ont promis de mettre fin à la déforestation liée à la production de cacao, et de rendre cette dernière compatible avec la protection de l’environnement et des droits humains.

À l’approche de ce premier anniversaire, Mighty Earth a déployé un arsenal de satellites et de drones, et des équipes sur le terrain pour vérifier comment (et si) ces engagements ont été mis en œuvre avec en Côte d’Ivoire et au Ghana.

Or, le rapport montre que depuis le lancement de l’ICF, le taux de déforestation s’est accru pour plus de la moitié des aires forestières inspectées en Côte d’Ivoire. Cette déforestation viole l’engagement premier du secteur du chocolat et des gouvernements : mettre fin aux nouvelles cultures de cacao dans les parcs nationaux et dans les aires protégées.

« Les gouvernements de Côte d’Ivoire et du Ghana ont clairement échoué à mettre un frein à la déforestation en cours, a déclaré Etelle Higonnet de Mighty Earth. Le secteur du chocolat a passé l’année à se féliciter de ses engagements pour cesser immédiatement la déforestation liée au cacao, mais il continue à s’approvisionner en cacao auprès de fournisseurs impliqués dans la destruction des dernières forêts d’Afrique de l’Ouest. »

L’équipe de terrain de Mighty Earth a pu démontrer que les cultivateurs qui déboisaient pour la culture du cacao étaient encore en mesure de vendre ouvertement leur cacao sans encourir de représailles. Des cultivateurs surpris en train de défricher des forêts pour le cacao ont expliqué aux enquêteurs qu’ils ne s’étaient exposés à aucune sanction, à aucune interruption de la chaîne d’approvisionnement, ni même à des avertissements. Pour la forêt classée de Goin-Débé, par exemple, visitée par Mighty Earth lors de sa première enquête en 2017, les choses n’ont pas vraiment évolué. Une forêt a été défrichée et plantée de cacaoyers deux jours avant l’arrivée des enquêteurs, précisément dans l’aire protégée inspectée il y a moins d’un an. L’enquête de terrain a également mis en lumière du travail d’enfants dans les champs de cacao.

« Mighty Earth a applaudi les engagements pris l’an dernier par le secteur du chocolat, mais nous savons que ces promesses ne valent que si elles sont tenues, poursuit Etelle Higonnet. Nous avons aussi constaté que des progrès évidents ont été accomplis à certains endroits. Il est donc possible pour ces sociétés et les autorités locales d’entreprendre des changements positifs. Mais des sociétés comme Cadbury et SucDen refusent encore de s’engager à des politiques mondiales « zéro déforestation ».

La déforestation et le travail des enfants sont inadmissibles ; c’est pourtant ce qui se déroule encore sous nos yeux. Le secteur et les gouvernements des pays producteurs de cacao doivent s’attaquer à ce décalage inacceptable entre leurs engagements et leur mise en œuvre. Ils doivent le faire de toute urgence, avant que la prochaine « haute saison dangereuse » pour la déforestation, qui débute en janvier, ne provoque pour les écosystèmes d’Afrique de l’Ouest des dégâts irréversibles. »

Thousands of Customers & Community Leaders Urge Whole Foods to Set Environmental Standards for Meat

Mighty Earth, a global environmental non-profit, delivered over 160,000 petitions to Whole Foods managers today in Austin TX; Chicago, IL; Fayetteville, AR; and Minneapolis, MN. These petitions have been signed by over 7,200 local residents and 160,000 global customers (via two online petitions), urging Whole Foods to set clear environmental standards for the meat sold in stores and to stop selling from highly polluting companies like Tyson and Cargill.

This petition delivery comes on the heels of Thanksgiving-themed rallies held in front of Whole Foods stores across the country last month, representing a coalition of 180 organizations committed to promoting sustainable food in their communities.

“It is clear that customers expect high sustainability standards when they shop at Whole Foods, and are shocked to find out dollars are being directed to some of the most polluting companies in the world when they buy meat,” said Mighty Earth Organizer in Austin, TX Lucas Judson. “Whole Foods needs to live up to their sustainable branding and set clear environmental standards for their meat.”

A report released by Mighty Earth found that Whole Foods has no environmental standards for the meat it buys, and that the company is sourcing from companies ranked by the EPA as among the top water polluters in the country- including Tyson Foods and Cargill, the same suppliers used by McDonald’s. The bulk of this pollution comes from toxins washing off fields that produce feed for Whole Foods meat, as well as irresponsibly managed manure that is often dumped directly into waterways across the United States. This pollution could be dramatically reduced through more sustainable farming practices for producing feed and managing manure, yet the industry has so far resisted adopting these reforms.

“As one of America’s largest grocery stores that buys large quantities of meat, Whole Foods has significant leverage to require meat suppliers to use environmentally responsible farming practices that keep our waters clean and communities healthy- and the public expects them to use it” noted Anya Fetcher, a resident and campaign volunteer for Mighty Earth in Austin, TX.

The McWholeFoods campaign is working to educate and mobilize customers across the country to demand Whole Foods strengthen its sustainability standards for meat suppliers to reduce water and climate pollution. Despite growing calls from customers, Whole Foods has so far refused to respond to the demands of hundreds of thousands of customers that they set environmental standards for meat. Campaigners will be meeting with store managers in Chicago, IL; Fayetteville, AR; Austin, TX; and Minneapolis, MN to deliver petitions and request a response from the company executive headquarters.

Webinar: How Companies Can Clean Up Their Meat Supply Chains

Webinar: How Companies Can Clean Up Their Meat Supply Chains

In November, Mighty Earth hosted a discussion on environmental degradation caused by meat production across the United States, the key stakeholders impacted, and the solutions companies need to adopt to reduce the most urgent environmental and public health consequences of this supply chain.


Lucia von Reusner, Mighty Earth Mary

Beth Gallagher, Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment

Tarah Heinzen, Food & Water Watch

Return to Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana - Second Field Investigation and Satellite

 From the field: Ongoing Deforestation in Cote D’Ivoire

Mighty Earth returned to Côte d’Ivoire to see what’s happened on the ground, since the chocolate industry and government promises made at the November 2017 COP in Bonn — to go deforestation-free

One year ago, the world’s largest chocolate and cocoa companies stood beside representatives of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the two major cocoa-producing countries, and committed to transform their industry. They said they would end deforestation linked to the production of cocoa and protect human rights better. Mighty Earth monitored these promises all year. We conducted analysis of remote sensing data of forests in the cocoa-growing regions of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. In October 2018, Mighty Earth sent a field team to check things out on the ground in Côte d’Ivoire. Did the reality live up to the promises?

This is what we found.

In the Goin Debé classified forest, deforestation for cocoa was continuing, and the local cocoa farmers reported that families were exchanging land to make room for more cocoa. One forest had been cleared and planted with cocoa just two days before our team arrived – in the protected area we had investigated less than a year prior.


In the Cavally Forest Reserve, the team headed into a dense intact forest, their path cleared by the machete swings of SODEFOR rangers. After 30 minutes, the forest cover began to thin and cocoa trees appeared. Some were one year old or less, indicating that they had likely been planted after the Frameworks of the Cocoa and Forest Initiative were announced in November 2017 at the Bonn COP.



Some protected areas are on the verge of extinction in the next 10 years, if the deforestation rates of the last year continue. These forests are mostly in the Southwest of the Côte d’Ivoire, in the cocoa producing heartland. Goin Debé is projected to vanish in around fifty years, if we continue with business as usual. Moyen Cavally the same.



Full-sun cocoa prevents the growth of other species, and creates a biodiversity wasteland – a food desert for birds, bats, bees, and other living things. In contrast, densely shaded agroforestry retains important benefits of a natural forest.

While top chocolate companies and their executives and investors make sizable profits in this industry worth $100 billion a year, they pay very low wages and rely on extensive child labor. Our team found child labour in the field.

Some Ivorian forests we studied saw improvements, with deforestation rates going down. The top performers included the forest authorities protecting Tai, Nzo, Semien, Fransobi, Port Gauthier, Rapides Grah, Dassioko Sud and Nord, with Haute Dono and Bolo Ouest seeing the strongest positive changes of any area.

Unfortunately, other Ivorian forests saw things actually get worse, not better. Despite the promises made by industry and government, as this photo essay demonstrates in Goin Debe and Cavaly, the deforestation rates rose. Other poor-performing protected areas were Mont Kourabahi and Niouniourou Bloc Deux. But Cavaly Mont Sante (similar name but different protected area) stood out far and away as the worst of all. Tragically, even the national park designation was not enough to save Mont Peko, where deforestation rates rose as well.

Farmers hack down the smaller trees with machetes, but the oldest are too large to chop. They are burned instead; like this ancient giant we walked past, whose base has been charred by an illegal fire.

The Ivorian and Ghanaian governments have clearly failed to clamp down on this ongoing deforestation, and companies, despite their public commitments, have continued to buy cocoa from suppliers connected to deforestation. While companies and local authorities have taken some actions to limit deforestation, and some areas saw improvements, we nonetheless documented that farmers who engaged in deforestation for cocoa were still able to openly sell their cocoa without repercussions.

Deforestation in Ghana from 2001-2017. Red dots represent forest loss.

Deforestation in Ghana from November 2017-2018.

To assess the impact of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative, we conducted analysis of remote sensing data across national parks and other protected areas in the cocoa-growing region in Ghana too.

This shows new tree cover loss in Ghana’s cocoa region in 2018. Ghana made tremendous progress this past year in mobilizing to end deforestation for cocoa, but they have a long way to go. Most of their forests are already gone. And satellite mapping shows that deforestation for cocoa is still continuing.


A year ago, we were all filled with hope when Prince Charles, Initiatief Duurzame Handel, and the World Cocoa Foundation helped industry and governments pledge to do better. Clearly key actors are failing and have not kept their promises. However, there is still room for optimism. Some authorities and companies have already gotten on the right track, proving that solutions are within are grasp. We can all do better. It’s not too late.

The future is in all of our hands.

Take action now.

Belgium joins France in calling for an EU due diligence cocoa law

Belgium joins France in calling for an EU due diligence cocoa law

Antwerp, Belgium – For the first time, Belgium has called on the European Commission to regulate the cocoa supply chain, including through a “due diligence cocoa law”. France made the same call, last month.

EU regulation of the cocoa sector could ensure real protection for human rights as it would create a level playing field to make sure that good corporations aren’t being undercut by unscrupulous companies. It could also be part of an ambitious EU action plan against other imported commodities tied to large-scale deforestation such as coffee, rubber, palm oil, and worst of all, soy.

Belgium is the fourth largest importer of cocoa and the second biggest exporter of chocolate in the world, boasting a yearly production of 600.000 tonnes and an enviable reputation for its high quality. The Belgian chocolate sector therefore carries considerable weight in the global cocoa economy. Despite this, in recent years Belgium had not been very involved in discussions on sustainability in the cocoa sector which is plagued by systemic issues such as extreme poverty, child labor, and massive deforestation.

Recent studies have shown that cocoa is the number one cause of deforestation in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, as well as a major driver in other producer nations like Ecuador, Peru, Cameroon, and Indonesia.[1] Moreover, the majority of cocoa farmers live in extreme poverty, earning under one Euro per day – far less than they need for a decent living. Recent studies have shown that cocoa farmers on average earn about a third of what they need in order to make a living income.[1] 2.1 million children work in the cocoa industry, 96% of whom are doing work considered “hazardous.”

Belgium’s call comes as a part of a sustainability initiative that is being set up by the Belgian government, the Belgian chocolate sector and civil society. The Belgian ‘Beyond Chocolate’ partnership aims to support the commitments of the Ivory Coast and Ghana to halt deforestation in their cocoa sectors by 2025, and to reach zero deforestation for all other cocoa origins by 2030. At the same time, a living income for cocoa producers should be secured by 2030. The different parties stress the interlinkages between deforestation and human rights in the cocoa supply chain.

“Deforestation in the cocoa sector is directly linked with the extreme poverty in which cocoa farmers live. We cannot sustainably stop deforestation if we don’t make sure that cocoa farmers make a living income.” (Bart Van Besien, Policy Officer at Oxfam-Wereldwinkels)

“Legislative measures are crucial to raise the bar and ensure that EU commodity imports are no longer linked to forest destruction – we are happy that the Belgian government recognises the urgency of an EU Action Plan against Deforestation and forest Degradation”, (Béatrice Wedeux, Forest Policy Officer at WWF-Belgium)

“The recent announcements from Belgium and France are signs that we are making real progress in the fight for sustainable cocoa. As the top consumer of cocoa worldwide, the EU has massive responsibility to fix the problem. Now is the time for other countries — especially Germany and the Netherlands — to join in the movement and enact their own policies to fight cocoa-driven deforestation.” (Etelle Higonnet, Campaign Director at Mighty Earth)

The Belgian initiative is in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and thus the signatories accept that protection of the environment and human rights should be an integral part of doing business.

Belgium’s bold decision to call for EU legislation on cocoa can help level the playing field and make sustainable chocolate a reality.

Facts and figures

  • Belgium is the fourth largest importer of cocoa beans worldwide – and the third largest importer of cocoa beans in Europe, after the Netherlands and Germany.
  • Every year more than 300 thousand tonnes of cocoa beans enter via the port of Antwerp.
  • The port of Antwerp is not only important for the Belgian chocolate sector, it is also an important port for the import of cocoa beans for industry in Germany, the Netherlands, France and other EU countries.
  • Belgium is home to approximately five hundred companies active in the cocoa processing industry and chocolate sector, ranging from large multinationals to Small and Medium Enterprises and artisanal chocolatiers.
  • The Belgian chocolate sector accounts for an annual turnover of almost five billion euros.
  • Every year almost 600,000 tons of chocolate are exported by Belgian chocolate makers to other EU countries as well as the USA and Japan.
  • This makes Belgium the second largest chocolate exporter in the world.

Credit: Daniel Rosenthal/Laif/Redux
Credit: Mighty Earth

Save a Chimp

Give to this African rainforests conservation fund, where people can donate to efforts that help save the last – often endangered – primates of Ivory Coast. To donate to Scott McGraw's  African rainforests conversation fund, The Tai Monkey Project,  and chip in to save chimps - click here

View Scott McGraw's presentation on the The Tai Monkey Project below, or click here to view as a PDF.

Organizers Deliver Thousands of Petitions to Yamaha headquarters

Last week, Mighty Earth organizers delivered over 3000 petitions to Yamaha headquarters locations. Thousands of activists are calling on Yamaha  to stop supporting policies that threaten oceans and the delicate marine ecosystems that sustain so much of the planet’s life.

U.S. fisheries management has been largely successful, and dozens of fish populations have bounced back in recent years. This progress was only possible because the U.S. set up management systems for fishing that balance ocean health with recreational and commercial angling. The Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), the primary law governing marine fisheries management, uses science-based evidence to establish catch limits for fish to balance recreational and commercial fishing goals with the long-term sustainability of the nation’s fishery resources.

But Yamaha and other big corporations have recently engaged in a lobbying effort to undermine the law. In pursuit of short-term profits, these companies are willing to undermine sound science and risk the hard-won accomplishments of this bipartisan effort.

Across the country, anglers, environmentalists, musicians who play Yamaha instruments, their fans, and other potential Yamaha customers know that responsible management is critical to the health of our oceans. They do not want Yamaha pushing for laws that lead to overfishing and empty oceans.

And so, after this anti-ocean lobbying effort was discovered, Mighty Earth sent organizers out into the field. Our team is on the ground now in Long Beach, California, a city near Yamaha’s corporate Headquarters; Kennesaw, Georgia, home to the headquarters of Yamaha Motor; and New Orleans, Louisiana, a musical hotspot and a coastal community that is inextricably linked to the ocean and its fisheries. For months, we have alerted the public to this corporate lobbying effort and collected signatures from concerned citizens.

In anticipation of the petition delivery, Mighty Earth organizers requested to meet with Yamaha executives. Both Yamaha Corporation of America President, Tom Sumner, and Yamaha Marine Group Government Relations Manager, Martin Peters, refused to schedule a meeting with Mighty Earth. In the lobby of Yamaha’s Kennesaw Headquarters, Peters again refused to sit down and discuss the concerns of his customers and abruptly left in the middle of our activists’ statements; although he did take the stack of petitions with him.

We know they can hear us, last month Yamaha Marine Group posted on Twitter in reaction to a series of rallies Mighty Earth hosted. And now, we have just delivered 3000 signatures right to their door. But the fight continues, and it’s not too late to add your voice. People are rising up to call on Yamaha to stop driving overfishing. Join us – sign the petition to protect our oceans today!

Mighty Earth Ethical Consumer Guide

This holiday season, buy chocolate from the heart. Please don’t buy chocolate that’s connected to child labor, slavery, or deforestation. Make sure you purchase chocolate only from companies that do their part to protect forests and wildlife.

We’ve pulled together rankings from different experts to give you a sense of where it’s at for some of the world’s biggest chocolate companies in terms of human rights, organic, fair trade, deforestation, and other issues.

Plus you can read up here, if you want to see some of the best guides out there, to help consumers buy the right chocolate:

This guide by Simran Sethi helps you make sense of the different labels – she walks you through what does it mean when a chocolate is “directly traded,” or “bean-to-bar,” and breaks down what various certifications like Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance entail.

The Ethical Consumer guide investigates, scores and ranks the ethical and environmental record of 99 brands of bars of chocolate, chocolate snacks and gift chocolates. They review child labour, deforestation, shine a light on the ethics of Divine and give some Best Buys advice.

If you’re in a rush and just want a quick list of good chocolate to buy, the Good Trade lists some chocolates that it recommends, which are fair trade and mostly organic

If you’re in the UK, you can check this out:

And if you’re in Australia, you’re in luck as there are two guides for you: and

We’ll have a full ranking of 150 companies ready later on, so stay tuned for a really comprehensive ranking coming soon!

Enjoy chocolate this holiday season that tastes good, is good for the planet, and good for people.

Cocoa & Deforestation: How Good Monitoring Can Turn Commitments into Reality

National Wildlife Federation and Vivid Economics will lead a civil society brainstorming on the Do’s and Don’ts for effective monitoring of deforestation for cocoa worldwide.

The event will be held at Novotel Katowice Centrum in Poland (outside the COP) on Monday, December 10th, 2018 from 15:00 to 17:00 CET, with afternoon refreshments provided.