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US Finds Sime Darby No Longer Using Forced Labour For Palm Oil

February 3, 2023

(Feb 3): Sime Darby Plantation Bhd, the world’s largest oil palm grower, was found to no longer be using forced labour, clearing a path for US Customs to lift a ban on the Malaysian firm’s products.

The planter’s palm oil and derivative products “are no longer mined, produced, or manufactured in any part with forced labour”, the US Department of Homeland Security said in a statement. 

Palm oil and products containing edible oil linked to Sime Darby were banned from entering the US in January 2022, after the planter was determined to have used forced labour. The ban added to the intense scrutiny faced by Malaysia’s biggest palm oil and rubber glove producers in recent years over allegations of migrant worker abuse. 

“We are optimistic that the tremendous strides we have made in bolstering the quality of life for our workforce will soon be recognised by the US Customs and Border Protection, and that we will be allowed to resume exports to the US,” Sime Darby said in response to questions from Bloomberg News. 

Sime Darby pledged to take measures to ensure well-being of their workers, and in April submitted a detailed report of its Malaysian operations to demonstrate they are in “full compliance” with US import regulations and international labour standards.  

The Malaysian government also formed a working committee with the US Customs agency to address issues of forced labour in the Southeast Asian nation. 

Source : The Edge Markets