Global watchdog suspends FGV’s RSPO certification citing poor labour practices

Palm oil industry watchdog RSPO says there have been labour rights violations by FGV.

PETALING JAYA: Global palm oil industry watchdog RSPO has suspended its sustainability certification process for some plantations owned by Felda’s FGV Holdings over its failure to meet labour standards, Reuters reports.

It quoted RSPO, or the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil, as saying that the suspension also applies to FGV’s Kilang Sawit Serting mill, following findings based on audits of its palm oil processing plants and supply bases.

This is the second time RSPO has suspended certification for the mill. In 2018, its investigation found instances of forced labour and exploitative labour practices as well as weaknesses in foreign labour management. The suspension was conditionally lifted in August last year.

“It is the duty of all members to ensure that human and labour rights are protected and all complaints panel directives must be complied with and implemented within the given timeline,” RSPO’s interim CEO Bakhtiar Talhah was quoted as saying in the report.

RSPO said its checks in October found poor treatment of migrant workers continue by FGV.

The decision means the process to get RSPO certification for FGV has been suspended.

The 4000-member RSPO brings together stakeholders in the global palm oil industry, with the aim to set standards for sustainable palm oil.

It is used as a benchmark by European buyers of palm oil, amid concerns of forced labour and human trafficking on oil palm plantations.