- Cargill, Wilmar, and Golden Agri-Resource — the three largest palm-oil companies on earth — have pledged to work together to stop deforestation.
- The announcement by the three companies came during the UN Summit on climate change, and follows an earlier announcement by Cargill that it would join The Forest Trust, a nonprofit group that promotes sustainable sourcing.
- Cargill's CEO, Dave MacLennan, also made a public appearance with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to pledge his company would work to prevent deforestation from all products, not just palm oil.
It's too early to tell just how all the goodwill and promises related to palm oil and deforestation will shake out after the UN summit ends. But there are reasons to be hopeful. First, Cargill says it will work with Indonesia's incoming president Joko Widodo to save the forests in that nation. Second, Germany, England, and Norway have come up with $1 billion to be used to help Peru and Liberia protect their forests. And third, and perhaps most important, the five largest growers of palm have agreed to suspend deforestation practices for one year while a study funded by Cargill, Unilever, and Wilmar looks for solutions.