THE HAGUE, DECEMBER 1, 2022 – Today, indigenous leaders of AIDESEP and FECONAU filed a complaint to the National Contact Point (NCP) of the OECD Guidelines in the Netherlands against Louis Dreyfus Company B.V., a major Dutch-based leader in trade of agricultural commodities. The case also has the support of a coalition of Peruvian and international NGOs with extensive experience in addressing unlawful deforestation and climate change issues, the rights of indigenous peoples, and corporate accountability: Forest Peoples Programme, Instituto de Defensa Legal, Instituto de Estudios Forestales y Ambientales – Kené, EIA – Environmental Investigation Agency, and the Center for Climate Crime Analysis.
This is the first case to address the breach of the OECD Guidelines by a major palm oil commodity trader before the Dutch NCP.
The supplier of Louis Dreyfus Company B.V.—the Ocho Sur Group—operates on lands in the Peruvian Amazon that were unlawfully appropriated under national and international law and that are part of the ancestral territory of the Indigenous Community of Santa Clara de Uchunya and the Shipibo-Konibo people. The oil palm plantations run by Ocho Sur U and Ocho Sur P, led to of over 12,000 hectares of illegal deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest, 91% of it being primary forest. The oil palm plantations continue to operate to this day without environmental certifications.
The complaint before the Dutch NCP alleges that Louis Dreyfus Company B.V.:
- Failedtoundertakeappropriaterisk-basedduediligencetoidentify,preventand mitigate adverse impacts caused by its business relationship with the Ocho Sur Group in Peru.
- Contributed to the adverse environmental and human rights impact caused by the Ocho Sur Group in Peru.
- Breached the OECD standards in relation to disclosure, communication and consultation due to the misleading claims on Louis Dreyfus Company’s website and in other official publications, related to palm oil sustainability, its “green” credentials and the compatibility of its operations with human rights and environment.
With this case, the coalition requests the NCP to address the urgent, serious and irreparable impact ofcorporate harmunderway in the Peruvian Amazon. It also seeks to show the predominant role that Louis Dreyfus Company B.V. and other major commodity traders play in the global market of agricultural commodities in promoting real compliance withsustainabilitystandards. Thus, Louis Dreyfus CompanyB.V. may influence other companies who are part of the supply chain of forest-risk commodities to put in place a sound environmental management system and carry out their appropriate due diligence.