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First Resources refutes ties to rainforest clearing in Indonesia

Independent advisor to review First Resources’ practices.

First Resources Limited denied ties to companies accused of clearing Indonesian rainforests.

The Gecko Project, a nonprofit newsroom, reported that the Singapore-listed company has “destroyed more rainforest for palm oil over the last five years than any other corporation in Southeast Asia” through a network of “shadow companies.”

The shadow companies mentioned in the article include FAP Agri (FAPA), Ciliandry Anky Abadi (CAA) and New Borneo Agri (NBA)/Sulaidy Group.

In a bourse filing, First Resources clarified that CAA and NBA/Sulaidy Group are not “subsidiaries, associated companies, related parties, nor interested persons” of the company.

"It is pivotal for us to highlight factual inaccuracies in the report. We would like to state that First Resources does not have any ownership stake or hold any management roles in CAA and NBA/Sulaidy Group. We also do not share the same office addresses nor employees with CAA and NBA/Sulaidy Group,” the company said.

The company also stated that it has not “purchased any palm oil products from, nor entered into any other transactions with CAA and NBA/Sulaidy Group.”

First Resources also assured the public that it will not buy from any company that does not comply with its Policy on Sustainable Palm Oil.

“First Resources cannot be held accountable for the actions or inactions of CAA or NBA/Sulaidy Group,” the company said.

The company also clarified that FAPA is a supplier on an “ad-hoc basis” and not a subsidiary nor an associated company.

“Purchase of palm oil materials from FAPA falls under the company’s Interested Person Transactions General Mandate covering transactions with the Prinsep group of companies, including the purchase of fresh fruit bunches, palm kernel and crude palm oil,” the company explained.

“During the financial year ended 31 December 2023, purchases of palm oil materials from FAPA amounted to US$100m, which works out to be approximately 10% of First Resources’ consolidated sales during the year,” the company added. 

In response to the allegations raised in The Gecko Project articles, First Resources tapped an independent advisor, Robertsbridge, to help investigate the issues and develop an action plan.

“We are confident that together, we will be able to reassure stakeholders that the concerns raised are being addressed in a comprehensive and transparent manner. First Resources commits to providing regular updates on our progress in the resolution of these matters and kindly requests all parties to respect the ongoing process and await the results before drawing conclusions or making any claims,” the company concluded.

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