Wilmar International controls a 353,000 ha landbank and 45 percent of the global palm oil trade. The U.S. company ADM has a 20 percent stake in Wilmar, and ADM’s CEO sits on Wilmar’s Board. Wilmar also shares a board member with and owns 20 percent of Kencana Agri, another Singapore-based palm oil company with a landbank of 187,281 ha. Its top investor is Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd, a Malaysia-based investment holding company that is involved in real estate.
Wilmar has taken several steps over the years to improve its sourcing and increase traceability and transparency in its supply chains. In December 2013, it announced a comprehensive NDPE policy that required its suppliers to immediately cease any development of High Conservation Value and High Carbon Stock areas and of peat, regardless of depth. In January 2014, Wilmar became the first trader to establish an online dashboard showing information about all the company’s palm oil suppliers in Indonesia and Malaysia. In early 2019, it started its “Suspend then Engage” program, which allows for the company to cut off suppliers but then work with them to improve their transparency and sustainability. Finally, Wilmar’s policy applies to all the commodities in which it trades. Wilmar has partnered with The Forest Trust to implement its policy.
On the other hand, Kencana Agri has recently engaged in deforestation in Sulawesi. Previously, in June 2018, Greenpeace and Chain Reaction Research both published reports linking Wilmar’s executives to ongoing deforestation via direct and material financial relationships. More recently, known deforester Peputra Group has reportedly appeared in the company’s supply chain. Other companies that may supply unsustainable palm oil to Wilmar include TH Plantations and United Malacca. This past year, Wilmar left the High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) group.
In 2014, Wilmar endorsed the New York Declaration on Forests, and it is a Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil member. Its top three investors are Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd, ADM, and Kerry Group.