Golden Agri shares jump on heavy trading

Subsidiary PT Smart refutes Greenpeace reports alleging it harms the environment

By JOYCE HOOI
02 April 2010

Golden Agri-Resources shares saw heavy trading yesterday, with almost 76 million changing hands on news that its subsidiary had responded to recent damaging Greenpeace reports.

Its subsidiary PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology (PT Smart) said yesterday it has appointed Control Union Certification (CUC) and BSI Group to conduct a ‘thorough verification of recent Greenpeace reports relating to sustainable palm oil production’.

‘This verification goes beyond the need to verify the claims made by Greenpeace,’ said PT Smart’s president-director Daud Dharsono.

‘It clearly demonstrates not only our commitment to the sustainable production of palm oil, but also our role in providing much-needed employment and contributing to the growth of the Indonesian economy.’ he added.

PT Smart is the palm oil unit of Sinar Mas Group, which came under fire recently over a Greenpeace report that alleged Sinar Mas illegally destroyed rainforest areas that are key habitats for orangutans, improperly converted land and conducted illegal planting in deep peat land.

As a result, Nestle decided to stop buying from Sinar Mas Group and Cargill Inc has threatened to drop the group as its supplier if the claims are not addressed.

Cargill has given Sinar Mas Group until the end of this month to respond to the Greenpeace allegations.

In a statement on the Singapore Exchange website yesterday, Mr. Dharsono said: ‘Early in February we announced that we would enhance our processes to ensure we do not develop land with high carbon stock and high conservation value.’

The two agencies appointed by PT Smart – CUC and BSI Group – are Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) – approved certification bodies, according to PT Smart.

They were jointly appointed following consultation with Unilever, which currently chairs the RSPO.

In December, Unilever suspended deliveries from Sinar Mas Group, citing environmental concerns.

Golden-Agri’s counter closed 3.4 per cent higher at 60 cents, topping the actives list on a relatively quiet market day on the eve of a long weekend.

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