KUALA LUMPUR, 2 October 2020 – Sime Darby Plantation Berhad (SDP) refers to recent news reports identifying it as the “next major plantation firm” facing a withhold release order or import ban, by the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
It is a matter of public record that SDP is the subject of a petition filed by Liberty Shared (LS) with the CBP on 20th April 2020 as widely reported in the media. Despite our attempts to engage with the CBP, we have not had the opportunity to provide any explanation and neither has SDP been provided details of the allegation by LS. A possible action by the CBP is a concern to SDP as we view the US as an important growing market for our products, even though the annual value of our export to the US at present is a modest sum of approximately USD5 million.
SDP had earlier responded to LS's petition summary and subsequent public statements in the best possible manner based on the limited information available. Our responses can be viewed at the following weblinks:
Over the years, we have embraced our position of leadership in driving the principles of sustainable development across our operations. Our responses underline our serious commitment to upholding human rights and genuine intention to remedy any lapses in our operations and supply chain. They are further underscored by our plan, following our engagement with LS, to commission an independent review of our governance, procedures and practices related to the areas of concern, the details of which will be announced in due course.
We will continue our engagements with the sincere hope of being able to obtain the details of the allegations for us to address them at the earliest opportunity.