Feb 20 (Reuters) - Wilmar International, the world's largest palm oil processor, has written to hundreds of suppliers urging them to stop clearing rainforests and peatlands.
The Singapore-listed firm has given its entire supply chain until end-2015 to comply with its "No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation" policy.
Following are the key elements of the policy.
Suppliers need to ensure:
* No further development in forests older than a decade and in habitats teeming with wildlife.
* No more burning to clear land for planting or replanting.
* No further development on peat swamps and, where feasible, show evidence of restoring peat areas.
* Actively seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
* Respect land rights and resolve ownership disputes in an open, transparent and consultative manner.
* Stop forced and child labour, harassment and other abuses, as well as implement minimum wages and fair contracts.
* Stop use of pesticides categorised as "extremely hazardous" by the World Health Organisation, except in "specific and urgent situations." Prohibit use of Paraquat, a highly toxic weedkiller.
Among other commitments, Wilmar has pledged to:
* Stop doing business with suppliers who are found to be in serious violation of its policy and who do not take remedial action to correct those violations.
* Engage with small farmers, and provide technical assistance and support to help them achieve rapid compliance with its rules. Wilmar also seeks support from governments and civil society to assist smallholders in achieving compliance.
* Reach out to stakeholders ranging from green groups, governments and labour associations to assist with implementation, obtain intelligence on supplier performance and adopt national policies that will make the industry eco-friendly.
* Give regular reports and updates on the policy.
* Establish a grievance procedure to enable any stakeholder to raise issues or complaints against any party, investigate the cases and publicly report on the findings. (Compiled by Niluksi Koswanage; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)