Cargill says to study SMART audit, decide how to proceed
JAKARTA, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Agribusiness giant Cargill Inc [CARG.UL] said on Tuesday it would study the findings of an audit of Indonesian palm oil giant PT SMART Tbk (SMAR.JK) soon to decide how to proceed.
SMART said that the audit of its palm oil operations showed it was not responsible for destroying primary forests and orangutan habitats, disputing accusations by Greenpeace. [ID:nJKB003849]
Greenpeace has said in a series of reports released since last year that the firm was clearing peatland and high conservation value forests, which shelter endangered species and trap vast amounts of climate-warming greenhouse gases.
The controversy has already cost SMART business. Two big buyers of palm oil, Unilever (ULVR.L) and Nestle (NESN.VX), have already dropped SMART as a supplier, while Cargill has threatened to stop buying from SMART depending on what the audit shows.
"We've been monitoring this process closely and encouraging both SMART & RSPO to be transparent in the process. We have not yet had the opportunity to review these audit results in detail. We will be reviewing the results & discussing then with SMART in the next few days to decide how we wish to proceed," said Cargill spokeswoman Marethe Sambe in a telephone text message to Reuters. (Reporting by Sunanda Creagh; Editing by Sara Webb)
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