Environmentalists praised Burger King’s decision today to stop buying palm oil from an Indonesian company accused of destroying rainforests.
The US hamburger chain giant – which sealed a multi-billion pound deal on Thursday to sell itself to 3G Capital – said Friday that it was cancelling 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 peatland 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.
The environmental group Greenpeace, which has accused Sinar Mas companies of tearing down forests that are home to orang-utans and other endangered species, welcomed the move.
Bustar Maitar, the group’s regional forest campaigner, urged other major corporate consumers like Pizza Hut and Dunkin’ Donuts to do the same.
Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil, a cheap commodity used to manufacture cooking oil, margarine, cosmetics and bio fuel.
Sinar Mas said in a statement it was disappointed with Burger King’s decision, but would work hard to convince the US company that it was committed to sustainable practices.
Unilever, Nestle and Kraft Foods also have recently broken ties with Sinar Mas.