December 09, 2010
The move comes as Sinar Mas works to improve its image abroad as it faces criticism over the environmental practices of some of its holdings, including Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) and PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources & Technology (SMART), a palm oil company.
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SMART has also been linked to transgressions, including inadequate consultation with local communities, failing to secure proper development permits, and clearing of peatlands and forests, according to a recent audit, which the found company failed to follow internal controls. The conduct violated standards set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a certification initiative, and led several major customers, including Unilever, Nestle, Kraft, and Burger King, to suspend buying from SMART. The company is now working to come into compliance with the RSPO.
Both APP and SMART maintain they operate within Indonesian law and are working to improve operations.
APP did not return request for comment on Ambassador Hume's hiring.
The U.S. embassy in Jakarta did not have immediate comment.