Responsible Investment News

NZ millions in embattled palm oil company

As at June last year, the Government Super Fund had a total $1,966,662 invested in the Singapore-based company; last month its holdings totalled $4,569,984.

The NZ Super Fund's holdings changed from $2,416,645 to $2,395,662 over the same period, bringing the total invested by both funds from $4,385,723 to $6,965,646.

In November, human rights organisation Amnesty International released findings of an investigation based on interviews with 120 workers of two Wilmar subsidiaries, alleging women were being forced to work long hours under the threat of having their pay cut, paid below minimum wage and kept in insecure employment without pensions or health insurance.

Its investigation further found children as young as eight were doing hazardous, hard physical work, and labourers having to work long hours to meet "ridiculously high" targets, some of which involved highly physically demanding tasks such as operating heavy manual equipment to cut fruit from trees 20 metres tall.

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