Statement by the RSPO

In relation to complaint on Herakles Farms September 4, 2012

The RSPO has received a letter from Herakles Farms dated 24 Aug 2012 stating the company’s decision to withdraw their membership from the RSPO.

The RSPO regrets this withdrawal of membership by Herakles Farms. This action pre-empts recommendations from the RSPO Complaints Panel to further verify the allegations made by the complainants.

The RSPO remains committed towards the process of ensuring its members comply with its Code of Conduct towards the production and promotion of sustainable palm oil. Information on the RSPO Complaints system can be accessed at


Company: Herakles Farms

Country: Cameroon

Category: Growers

Complainants registered within the 30 day consultation period of the New Plantings Procedure (NPP) :
World Wildlife Fund for Nature Cameroon, RELUFA ( Network for the Fight against Hunger Cameroon),SAVE Wildlife Conservation Fund, Centre for Environment and Development in Yaounde, Cameroon, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) (German Agency for International Cooperation) ,Academics and researchers from the James Madison University, Duke University of Durham and University of Goettingen and an independent environment consultant.

Complainants registered after the NPP consultation period: Greenpeace

Date Filed: 01/03/2012 – 10/05/2012

Nature of complaint: Infringement of RSPO Principle & Criteria: Principle 7: Responsible development of new plantings

Synopsis of complaint: Herakles Farms is developing a 70,000 ha oil palm plantation and mill in Cameroon. This development has attracted complaints from various organisations that make the following allegations:

  • a) The development is in breach of national laws and regulations
  • b) The earmarked area for the plantation is claimed to be located in a biodiversity hotspot and is covered by species-rich canopy forest.
  • c) The proposed development area is also surrounded by nationally protected forest.
  • d) Clearing of these areas can disrupt the ecological landscape and migration routes of protected species and subspecies.
  • e) Clearance of these areas may result in loss of water resources and subsistence farming lands of local communities.

Update on June 8, 2012

Update on May 23, 2012

Attachment – Membership withdrawal letter from Herakles Farms

Attachment – Letter from the RSPO

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