It said on Friday this was the findings of a verification assessment undertaken by a third party independent assessor based in Indonesia.
The assessor was hired by its unit Felda Global Ventures Kalimantan Sdn Bhd (FGVK), to verify the allegations and reporting by Chain Reaction Research (CRR) and its partner, Aidenvironment that FGV risked supply chain exclusion over repeat offences.
The articles alleged that FGV had cleared peat forest, contrary to its policies and industry standards, on its PT TAA plantation in West Kalimantan.
“PT TAA’s natural forest has been completely destroyed by massive forest fires in the 1980’s and in 1997, and also by continuous logging operations by logging companies and by the local communities, before the acquisition of PT TAA’s land by FGV.
“FGV has complied with Rountable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) New Planting Procedure (NPP) 2010 and procured all necessary approvals from the relevant authorities in Indonesia in respect of the development of PT TAA’s land which commenced in late 2014,” it said.
FGV also said the assessor's observations and measurements showed the buffer zone area on the east side of PT TAA’s concession had not been damaged by land clearing. There was also no encroachment in the identified high conservation value (HCV) areas.
It also pointed there were no repeated offences related to peat forest clearance by PT TAA or PT Citra Niaga Perkasa (PT CNP).
“The clearance in 2015 of 191.8 ha of HCV area in PT CNP was made at the instructions of the local community to the contractor without PT CNP’s knowledge and approval.
“The incident has been reported by FGV to the RSPO in 2016 and a satisfactory solution has been agreed upon. No other offences have taken place since then. Therefore, FGV denies that it is a serious repeat offender of RSPO Principles & Criteria,” it said.
As for an April 19, 2017 report by Valuewalk entitled “FGV risks revenue by violating board's policies,” FGV said the “No deforestation peat and exploitation” (NDPE) policies of FGV’s customers prescribe strict requirements regarding plantings on peat soil.
“By establishing the group sustainability policy in August 2016, FGV has displayed its commitment to the customers’ NDPE and shall ensure that all its future land acquisitions are in compliance with its customers’ NDPE policies,” it said.