Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wilmar Expands in Europe With Palm-Oil Refining, Alcohol Plant

10/05/2011 (Bloomberg) - Wilmar International Ltd. (WIL), the world’s biggest palm-oil producer, will partner with a rival to refine and sell cooking oil in Europe, seeking to ease its reliance on China.

Wilmar, based in Singapore, will supply refined palm oil from New Britain Palm Oil Ltd. (NBPO)’s farms in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, the two companies said in a statement today. Separately, Wilmar said it also plans to build a natural-alcohol plant in the Netherlands.

The European expansion comes after more than six months of Wilmar being told by the government in China, its biggest market, to cap cooking oil prices to rein in food inflation. Wilmar’s oilseed and grains unit posted a $173.2 million loss last year mostly because of the caps, which made retail oil cheaper than bulk.

“Wilmar’s always been interested in expanding its presence in Europe and this certified oil is a step forward,” said Ben Santoso, an analyst with DBS Vickers Securities Pte. “Europe needs an alternative to rapeseed oil.”

Wilmar rose 0.6 percent to S$5.15 at the end of trading in Singapore. The stock has declined 8.5 percent this year, compared with a 1.7 percent drop in the key Straits Times Index.

Biggest Market

Europe accounted for 7.2 percent of Wilmar’s $30.4 billion in sales last year, while China contributed 52 percent. Wilmar also refines sugar and has its own palm plantations, as well as a biodiesel manufacturing business.

“We look forward to being more involved in the local chemical community and strengthening our foothold in Europe,” Wilmar Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Kuok Khoon Hong said today in the statement, referring to the alcohol plant.

Rapeseed and Canola Oil: Production, Processing, Properties, and Uses Canola and Rapeseed: Production, Chemistry, Nutrition, and Processing Technology (AVI Books)

According to Wilmar’s partnership with New Britain, oil- palm fruits grown at the London-listed company’s certified sustainable plantations will be processed by Wilmar in Germany and jointly marketed. Wilmar’s plant in Germany will begin palm oil refining from the middle of next year, producing as much as 300,000 metric tons of the product per year.

Farm and cooperative alcohol plant study: Technical and economic assessment as a commercial ventureEurope each year buys about 5 million tons of palm oil, which is used to make bread, cereals, margarine and lipstick, Wilmar said.

The company’s natural alcohol plant will be built near the port of Rotterdam jointly with Salt Lake City, U.S.-based Huntsman Corp. (HUN), it said in a statement today. The factory is due to come on stream in 2013. 

Europe Palm Oil Market
The 2011 Import and Export Market for Palm Oil and Its Fractions in EuropeThe 2011 Import and Export Market for Crude Palm Kernel or Babassu Oil in EuropeThe 2011 Import and Export Market for Oil-Cake and Other Solid Residues (Except Dregs) Resulting from the Extraction of Fats or Oils from Palm Nuts or Kernels in Europe 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Indonesia To Set-up Green Palm Body in May

03/05/2011 (Reuters) - Indonesia will form a body to manage, monitor and clarify its mandatory green palm oil industry scheme within two weeks, an agriculture ministry official said.

The agriculture ministry said last month that it planned to issue Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certification to cover the entire operations of planters amid pressure from green groups to halt deforestation.

In January, Indonesia, the world's top palm oil producer, said it would trial its ISPO certification, covering the operations of planters.

"We have been appointing a team to prepare the formation of the ISPO organization," Gamal Nasir, director general of plantations at the ministry, told Reuters.

"We hope the team can accomplish their task -- to form the organization -- in one to two weeks from now."

Gamal added that the government would appoint an ISPO commission, consisting of officials from government institutions and ministries, palm oil associations and NGOs.

The ISPO commission will manage the certification system, and be tasked with giving ISPO approval and recognition to plantation companies being managed in a sustainable manner.

Such firms should also be co-operating with both local and international bodies that encourage sustainable palm oil, he added.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which groups planters, green groups and consumers, is the only other major group to have set up green standards for the whole industry.

But unlike RSPO, which does not impose sanctions on members that violate its voluntary standards, those found to be breaking ISPO rules will be punished by law, a ministry official said in November.

Earlier this year, the new secretary general of the RSPO described the ISPO as "excellent" and said it would compliment the RSPO.

Some major palm oil consumers such as Unilever (UNc.AS) stopped buying palm oil from Indonesian firm SMART because of concerns over deforestation, while a planned Indonesian moratorium on new permits to clear forests may slow industry expansion.

Sustainable Palm Oil 
The Impacts of Partnership on Global Value Chain and Suppliers: Case Study of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm OilUnmasking The Rountable of Sustainable Palm Oil: Principle and Criteria of RSPO in the GroundIntegrating Biodiversity in Agricultural Intensification: Toward Sound Practices (Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Series.)Renewable energy from palm oil - innovation on effective utilization of waste [An article from: Journal of Cleaner Production]Sustainable Production Consumption Systems: Knowledge, Engagement and PracticeBioenergy Development: Issues and Impacts for Poverty and Natural Resource Management (Agriculture and Rural Development) (Agriculture and Rural Development Series)Case Studies in Sustainability Management and StrategyThe Future of the World's Forests: Ideas vs Ideologies (World Forests)Agrofuels in the Americas 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Governments, Business Must Unite In Joint Action To Stop Forest Loss

27/04/2011 (WWF International) - Policymakers and business leaders must quickly back a bold target to stop forest loss as part of efforts to conserve biodiversity and fight climate change, according to a new WWF report.

The first chapter of WWF’s Living Forests Report, released today, examines the drivers of deforestation and identifies the opportunities to shift from business as usual to a new model of sustainability, which can benefit government, business and communities.

Based on a new global analysis showing that more than 230 million hectares of forest will disappear by 2050 if no action is taken, the report proposes that policymakers and businesses unite around a goal of zero net deforestation and forest degradation (ZNDD) by 2020 as a groundbreaking global benchmark to avoid dangerous climate change and curb biodiversity loss.

“We are squandering forests now by failing to sort out vital policy issues such as governance and economic incentives to keep forests standing,” said Rod Taylor, WWF International Forests Director.

Business and governments need forests

The first chapter of the report comes as business and political leaders meet this week in Jakarta, Indonesia, for the Business 4 Environment Global Summit (B4E). The conference will be addressed by His Excellency Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of the Republic of Indonesia.

“The dual imperatives of ZNDD and meeting global demand for materials and energy pose both challenges and business opportunities for the forest products sector,” the report states. “Forest products are renewable and, when sourced from well-managed natural forests and plantations, tend to have a lower footprint than alternatives like steel, concrete and plastic based on fossil sources.”

On the first day of the conference, businesses from the forestry, mining and palm oil sectors operating on the nearby island of Borneo will meet as part of WWF’s Heart of Borneo Green Business Network.

At the summit, WWF will call on forestry companies to join the organization’s Global Forest & Trade Network, and also on other business sectors to support our goal in achieving certification of 75% of key global commodities in the region by 2020. More than 40% of the island’s forests are under concession to the private sector, with around 23% (6 million hectares) under management by the forestry industry.

Carrefour, a leading retailer in Indonesia is answering this call by endorsing WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN). Today, the group’s two biggest suppliers for tissue paper in Indonesia, PT Graha Kerindo Utama and PT Graha Cemerlang Paper Utama are pledging to implement sustainable business under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

"Our ambition is both simple and strong: to become the preferred retailer. This can only be achieved by managing our retail business in a responsible and sustainable manner," said RM Adji Srihandoyo, the Corporate Affair Director PT CARREFOUR

Heart of Borneo – a model for collaboration

More businesses than ever before are working toward sustainable forest management, and governments are strengthening land use criteria and developing groundbreaking economic and fiscal incentives on the island, one of the most forest-rich places on the planet.

On the ground, WWF and its local partners are developing pilot projects to demonstrate the feasibility of these approaches.

“In the Heart of Borneo, tangible examples of how these systems work are emerging. WWF-Indonesia acknowledges that sustainability does not occur overnight. We call on the business sector to join with us as we make the first steps on the road to a green economy and low carbon future, not just in Borneo, but in Sumatra and Papua as well – step by step,” said Dr. Efransjah, WWF-Indonesia CEO.

Right now on the island of Borneo in a 220,000km2 area designated for conservation and sustainable development called the Heart of Borneo, these are the ideas being put into practice.

ZNDD no barrier to sustainable forest-based business

Zero net deforestation and forest degradation by 2020 means no overall loss of forest area or forest quality, so a new monoculture plantation does not offset the loss of primary natural forest. The target requires the loss of natural or semi-natural forest to be reduced to near zero, down from the current 13 million hectares a year, and held at that level indefinitely.

To understand what this would mean in practice, WWF developed the Living Forests Model with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), which forms the basis for the Living Forests Report.

The Living Forests Model projects that by “doing nothing” we could lose more than 230 million hectares between now and 2050.

“The Living Forests Model shows that conserving our forests is possible – and urgent. But it won’t be easy,” said Taylor.

Making a difference now and towards 2050

“Better governance and economic incentives will enable sound stewardship of forests and more productive use of already- degraded land,” Taylor said. “This would ensure enough farming land, timber plantations and well-managed forests to meet current global demand for wood and food without further forest loss.”

The report concludes that maintaining near zero forest loss in the longer term will require responses to rising pressures on forests due to demand for food, materials and fuel for a growing population, expected to hit 9 billion people by 2050.

“In the short term, halting deforestation is all about better governance,” said Taylor, “But as we get out towards 2050 and the population passes 9 billion, we will need to cut over-consumption and waste of food and energy, and boost productivity of farms and forestry to keep forest loss at near zero.”

More to come

Held in partnership with WWF, Global Initiatives and the Government of Indonesia, the B4E Summit hopes “to generate collaborative solutions to address the most urgent environmental and climate issues facing the world today.”

Additional chapters of the Living Forest Report will be released throughout the year to form a comprehensive analysis of the choices and decisions that must be made to secure a forested future for people and nature.

Forest and Climate Change 
Climate Change and Forests: Emerging Policy and Market OpportunitiesBoreal Forest and Climate Change (Advances in Global Change Research)Fate of the Forests, 1985Carbon Sinks and Climate Change: Forests in the Fight Against Global Warming (Advances in Ecological Economics)Payments for Environmental Services, Forest Conservation and Climate Change: Livelihoods in the REDD?Climate Change and Forest Management in the Western HemisphereCarbon Mitigation and Climate Change Through Forest Management (Climate Change and Its Causes, Effects and Prediction)Mountain World in Danger: Climate Change in the Forests and Mountains of Europe (Earthscan Library Collection: Sustainable Development Set)Managing Forest Ecosystems: The Challenge of Climate Change