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Burger King To Stop Buying Pal Oil From Indonesia

JAKARTA: Environmentalists on Saturday praised Burger King's decision to stop buying palm oil from an Indonesian company accused of destroying rain forests.. The U.S. hamburger chain giant _ which recently sealed a deal to sell
PTI September 04, 2010 14:18 IST
PTI
JAKARTA: Environmentalists on Saturday praised Burger King's decision to stop buying palm oil from an Indonesian company accused of destroying rain forests..

The U.S. hamburger chain giant _ which recently sealed a deal to sell itself for $3.26 billion to 3G Capital _ said Friday that it was canceling its contract with PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology over concerns it had not adopted sustainable farming practices.

It cited an independent audit that found the company's plantations had violated several regulations, including planting in some peat land swamps and secondary forests.

"These practices are inconsistent with our corporate responsibility commitments," Burger King said in a statement on Facebook as it joined a growing list of multinationals that have broken ties with Sinar Mas.

Burger King did not say what its alternate source of palm oil _ used for frying _ would be.

Sinar Mas said it was disappointed with Burger King's decision, but would work hard to convince the hamburger chain that it was committed to sustainable practices.

The environmental group Greenpeace, which has accused Sinar Mas companies of tearing down forests that are home to orangutans and other endangered species, welcomed Burger King's move.

Bustar Maitar, the group's regional forest campaigner, urged other major corporate consumers like Cargill, Pizza Hut and Dunkin' Donuts to do the same.

Jatna Supriatna from Conservation International Indonesia said the decision was a lesson for Sinar Mas and other companies.

"They should not just be aggressive in expanding plantations without allotting revenues for forest restoration," Supriatna said Saturday. "The government has to stop them."

Indonesia is the world's largest producer of palm oil, a cheap commodity used for cooking oil, margarine, cosmetics and bio fuel.

Unilever, Nestle and Kraft Foods also have recently broken ties with Sinar Mas. AP