First, this deal is at high risk of driving deforestation. If the acquisition goes ahead, Felda will acquire Eagle High’s large 425,000 ha land bank, of which an estimated 64% is undeveloped. This deal would put enormous pressure on Felda to show a return on investment, making it very likely that at least some of the undeveloped landbank would fall victim to Felda’s bulldozers. The lands are also NOT RSPO-certified. That’s why FGV voluntarily withdrew its RSPO certification last year – Takut kena tangkap!
The second major risk factor is human rights abuse. Given the abuses alleged by the Wall Street Journal, Felda should not be allowed to expand its plantation holdings until it can prove that it complies with international standards for the fair treatment of workers and respect for human rights.
Felda’s investors should consider this deal a significant risk. Felda Settlers should consider this a betrayal of all their hard work over 50years.
Many of Felda’s and Eagle High’s customers have policies on no deforestation, no peat, and no exploitation, including Cargill, Golden Agri-Resources, and Wilmar. This deal WILL result in land clearing and human rights abuses. The European Union will block Felda and Eagle High’s imports into EU, which would make this done deal an economic disaster for the companies – and then Felda Settlers.
Settlers – AWAS — this palm oil romance won’t be pretty.