Saturday, March 06, 2010

Farmers as human shield for blacklisted CPO producers?

What a shameful act! Business associations condemned Unilever for its decision to blacklist some CPO producers from Indonesia. They said Unilever's action has cut the price for fresh fruit bunch (FFBs) 10% already. This is strange because both prices in futures and physical markets increased substantially in recent months.
Poor Indonesian farmers! Apkasindo told journalists at Hotel Shangri-La Friday night that few months ago the FFBs were Rp1450/Kg, reduced to Rp1300 at the moment.
CPO Futures contracts for May delivery in Malaysia closed at RM2670 per ton on Friday, far above the prices in the same month last year (below RM2000/ton). In the physical market, CPO prices in Indonesia are currently above Rp7600 per Kg or about US$825 per ton.
Look at how much profit companies like Astra Agro, London Sumatra Plantation (LSIP), or Golden Agri Resources, Indofood Agri Resources, Wilmar, or First Resources have booked. Indofood Agri reported net profit of Rp1.5 trillion last year; Golden Agri (Sinarmas) reported net profit US$607 million or Rp5.65 trillion, First Resources (Surya Dumai Group) at Rp1.24 trillion; Astra Agro Rp1.66 trillion. Bear in mind, all of these guys operate plantations in Indonesia. So, four business groups generated net profit of Rp10 trillion last year from plantation, mainly palm oil, last year.
Why they keep suppressing farmers with low prices of FFBs? Bear in mind, palm oil producers generated the best profit margins, but please ask farmers and workers how much they make? Please don't use them as "shield" for your ...And for tax officers, make sure these companies don't evade tax. One group has been alleged for doing so (Rp1.3 trillion?)...Others?

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