April 10, 2018

No active business relations with GAMA, palm oil giant confirms

JAKARTA ( - Since October 2017, palm oil giant Musim Mas Group (MMG) has not purchased any palm oil from the AMS Ganda Group / GAMA Plantation. The Singapore-headquartered company made this decision, according to a post on its corporate website, after considering reports published by NGOs, most notably the  Forest Peoples Program (FPP)Greenpeace and Greenomics.

Deforestation, peat destruction and social conflicts were among the key concerns raised by these NGOs, encouraging MMG to take the significant and firm action of stopping its sourcing of palm oil from GAMA's mills.

“We don’t have active business relations with GAMA,” MMG spokesperson Carolyn Lim confirmed (Apr 10) when asked by about the current status of Musim Mas’ palm oil supply chains disengagement from GAMA.

The concrete action taken by Musim Mas should be emulated by other global palm oil buyers linked to GAMA, given that this controversial palm oil business group’s ongoing operations largely still involve the deforestation of Papua's high carbon stock (HCS) forests and destruction of Borneo's peatlands, as consistently reported by

The following photos constitute clear evidence of how GAMA recently developed massive canals in its PT GAN palm oil concession lying in West Kalimantan’s Kubu Raya regency.

Numerous global players named

As it stands, it's not just Wilmar and Unilever that are currently still sourcing palm oil from GAMA's mills. The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) recently added PepsiCo and Nestle to the list of global companies associated with GAMA's operations, which include fragmenting peat forests that form part of Indonesia's existing peat restoration sites and peat protection zones

The list of key global palm oil buyers involved with GAMA doesn't end there however - GAMA also sells palm oil, either directly or indirectly, to AAK, Bunge, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, Mondelez, Nestle, IOI, P&G and Reckitt Benckiser.

Indeed, as evidenced by the photos below, the extent to which global palm oil supply chains remain closely linked to the destruction of peat forests inhabited by the critically-endangered Bornean orangutan needs constant reminding and emphasizing.

It seems both very strange and hugely irresponsible for these multinational palm oil players to shut their eyes to GAMA’s harmful operational practices which include the development of new palm oil plantations by bulldozing HCS forests, including forested peatlands. 

What’s more, GAMA’s destructive practices do not only involve peat forest destruction and large-scale canal construction. In fact, PT GAN, the aforementioned GAMA palm oil company, is also building a new CPO mill in parts of designated peat restoration sites, as earlier reported by

The fact that the supply chains of the major global palm oil players mentioned above remain steadfastly tied to a serial violator like GAMA serves as an important lesson learned that the need for these companies to feed their palm oil tanks overrides any environmental or conservation concerns they may have.

On the contrary, these companies don’t seem to care that the palm oil they are currently sourcing is tied to a supplier which is demolishing the habitat of the Bornean orangutan as well as Papua’s HCS forests.

Unfortunately, Musim Mas’ move to cut GAMA out of its supply chains in October last year has not stopped GAMA’s practices, as it has been proven to still be carrying out the deforestation of HCS forests along with peat destruction.

As such, now is the time for Wilmar, Unilever, Nestle, PepsiCo, Bunge, P&G, IOI, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars and others to follow in the footsteps of Musim Mas by also disengaging their supply chains from GAMA, thereby sending this non-compliant palm oil supplier a strong message.

If, on the other hand, these global palm oil buyers fail to make some kind of move concerning their supply chain linkages with GAMA - while GAMA continues to clear Papua’s HCS forests and obliterate Borneo’s peat forests - it would indicate that they lack the courage shown by Musim Mas in taking such a crucial business decision in October last year.