Friday, March 25, 2011

DWS pulls out of multinational palm oil company Wilmar

Press release by Robin Wood:
22 March 2011
* DWS pulls out of the multinational palm oil company Wilmar
* Fund management company owned by Deutsche Bank reacts to criticism by ROBIN WOOD

DWS, the Deutsche Bank fund management company, has eliminated all stock from the phless exploitation practiced alm oil conglomerate Wilmar from its financial products. In doing so, DWS has now reacted to the criticism from the environmental organization ROBIN WOOD, which had called on the financial services provider to stop investing in Wilmar. ROBIN WOOD criticized the rutby the palm oil concern, which the local population has accused of stealing land and destroying forests for new plantations. Wilmar is also suspected of breaking the law in the way it runs its plantations.

The criticism from ROBIN WOOD referred specifically to DWS AgriX, a financial product offered by DWS. Previously, this product had contained shares from the palm oil company Wilmar International which is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

Wilmar runs huge plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia and is criticized by Indonesian organizations like Save our Borneo and Walhi Jambi – alongside ROBIN WOOD – for an aggressive expansion strategy path at the expense of the local population and the environment.
Criticism of Wilmar is still continuing internationally as well. The Jakarta-based organization Greennomics recently published a study indicating that Wilmar and numerous other palm oil concerns in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan were operating their plantations without valid licenses. As a result of illegal practices like this, the Indonesian state is deprived of high revenues.

The Norwegian organization Rainforest Foundation has demanded that Norway's national pension fund should stop investing in organizations that are destroying the rain forests, explicitly mentioning Wilmar.

"ROBIN WOOD applauds the decision taken by DWS", says Peter Gerhardt, responsible for tropical forests at ROBIN WOOD. "This is a clear signal to the financial market that investors should not be supplying fresh funds to bodies that destroy the world's rain forests."

However, Unilever – the Dutch-British consumer goods giant, has refused to take heed so far. Unilever buys Wilmar palm oil for its brands like Rama margarine. ROBIN WOOD has repeatedly criticized this irresponsible policy, but Unilever is trying to buy time and fob its critics off with non-binding promises to institute environmental measures in the future.


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