Indigenous community members have filed a complaint against a palm oil company in Peru and a governing body has told it to halt operations.
Plantaciones Pucallpa S.A.C was ordered by The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil to stop its development of new plantations until it can prove it hasn’t cleared primary forest, which is illegal in Peru.
"It appears that Plantaciones has cleared primary forest progressively since 2011," RSPO complaints coordinator Ravin Krishnan said in a letter to the company.
Despite protests from Santa Clara de Uchunya villagers, the company has continued to clear primary forests, according to Indigenous leader Robert Guimaraes.
"Each time there are more and more clashes between the community and the company’s employees”, Guimaraes said in the Daily Mail.
According to the statement released by RSPO, there are five key areas where Plantaciones might have violated RSPO principles, including the failure to respect customary land rights and partaking in deforestation without any of the permits that are needed under Peruvian law.
RSPO is used by European palm oil purchasers as the international sustainability benchmark.