New land

In accordance with RSPO rules, land is only planted when it has been subject to an independent social impact assessment and has been independently certified as not having a high conservation value (“HCV”).

The Group’s policy is to ensure that any new development, including development for scheme smallholders, only takes place in heavily degraded areas and that there is no conversion of forests or natural ecosystems.

The Group believes adherence to the RSPO’s standards and procedures ensures it does not contribute to any deforestation including areas of high carbon stock, high conservation value, or peat areas and does not endanger any species of conservation concern, notably those on the IUCN (International Union of the Conservation of Nature) red list. The Group applies the same standards to all suppliers, whether they be scheme smallholders or independent crop suppliers, as those it applies to its own areas. It is the Group’s policy that HCV assessments are only carried out by assessors accredited to the HCV Resource Network’s Assessor Licensing Scheme.

Where there are acquisitions of previously developed areas, the Group is committed to following the RSPO “Remediation and Compensation Procedure” and other guidelines, ensuring that appropriate remediation and/or compensation is agreed in relation to any non-compliant land clearing since the RSPO-determined cut-off date of November 2005.

We have tried to minimise the potential for conflicts over land by integrating a guideline on free, prior informed consent (“FPIC”) into our land development process. Where a dispute does nevertheless arise, we have a procedure in place to deal with the issue depending on the significance of the disagreement. Where appropriate, this involves consulting a third party to provide a neutral perspective. The Group always tries to resolve a dispute through negotiation. Where this proves unsuccessful, an attempt is next made to reach a resolution through mediation, then arbitration and lastly through adjudication, exhausting the possibilities at each level before moving to the next.

Process for FPIC prior to land development
Process for FPIC prior to land development

Updated March 2023

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