Tragedy in Tripa: Cargill Can Make a Difference

Written by Chelsea Matthews

Topics: Action, Agribusiness

share this story
facebook twitter email stumble upon
Get Forest Alerts
Fire in Tripa

Photo by Carlos Quiles

Last week hundreds of fires blazed through the Tripa peat forest of Indonesia, threatening the survival of one of the largest remaining populations of wild Sumatran orangutans in the world. These fires rapidly got out of control after they were intentionally started by profit-hungry palm oil companies in order to clear rainforest for palm oil plantation expansion.

For those of you following the case, thanks for taking action by asking President Yudhoyono of Indonesia to enforce the law and save this precious peatland. Your pressure is working. We are asking for your help again by pressuring the companies profiting from the fires in Tripa.

Trade data held by Rainforest Action Network shows that Cargill shipped at least 4,000 tons of crude palm oil produced by Astra Agro Lestari from the island of Sumatra in 2009. Astra Agro Lestari produced and exported palm oil from Tripa until 2010, when it sold its Tripa plantation to another agribusiness based in Jakarta.  It is highly likely that at least some of this 4,000 tons was from Tripa, making a direct link between the destruction Tripa and the US consumer impossible to ignore. Cargill Inc., operates its own palm oil plantations in Sumatra and Borneo and trades palm oil produced by at least fifteen Indonesian palm oil producers. Cargill’s relationships with Astra Agro Lestari, or other plantation companies with operations in Tripa, highlights the lack of safeguards on the quarter of the world’s palm oil the company trades.

Trade data also shows that Astra Agro Lestari also sells millions of dollars of palm oil a year to industry giants Wilmar and Sinar Mas, three suppliers who provide palm oil to Cargill, and  demonstrating that customers around the world have purchased Tripa’s palm oil and are helping to drive the destruction associated with it.

Demand that Cargill, Inc. — trader of 25% of the world’s palm oil supply — immediately stop trading palm oil with companies profiting from the destruction of Tripa peat forest.

Here are the facts:

  • Nearly 50% of all household goods contain palm oil
  • Cargill trades 25% of the world’s palm oil supply
  • Cargill has no safeguards to protect consumers like you from purchasing palm oil from companies that are destroying rainforests, Indigenous cultures, and Sumatran orangutan, tiger and sun bear populations

It is past time for Cargill to adopt safeguards on the palm oil it trades without outsourcing its values to RSPO membership to guarantee that it is not profiting from situations like Tripa across Indonesia and Malaysia.

Push Cargill to adopt supply chain safeguards so that it can guarantee that the palm oil it supplies does not ever cause a catastrophe like the Tripa fires.

2 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Parker Lindner says:

    Please set up a petition on

  2. Chelsea Matthews says:

    For those of you who have been following our updates on Tripa, you’ll notice we have updated the language in this blog to more accurately explain Cargill’s connection to Tripa. Plantation ownership in Tripa, as in much of Indonesia, is an ever-changing shell game where ownership shifts often, illegal operations are frequent and establishing direct supply chain links is very challenging. While it is very difficult to get transparent customs data, the bottom line remains that Cargill cannot ensure that it is not trading palm oil from Tripa or parent companies profiting from the destruction of Tripa because it has no safeguards in place to prevent it.

    For more information, check out RAN’s backgrounder on Tripa:

Trackbacks For This Post

  1. REDD in the news: 9-15 April 2012 |
  2. International Day of Action to Save Tripa Rainforest » Rainforest Action Network Blog
  3. Setting the Record Straight: Cargill and Tripa Forest Controversy « endoftheicons
  4. RAN Delivers Nearly 20,000 Petitions to Cargill HQ » Rainforest Action Network Blog
  5. Illegal Fires in Sumatra Escalate, Creating Regional Air Pollution Crisis » Rainforest Action Network Blog

Leave a Comment Here's Your Chance to Be Heard!

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.