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Feronia: Working Conditions

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 110214, tabled on 2 November 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the report, Development banks must be held accountable for their disastrous oil palm plantation investments, published by the Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt in the Congo on 25 September 2020, whether CDC Group has investigated reports of racist abuse and illegal public whipping against workers at plantations operated by Feronia Inc.

Answered on

9 November 2020

The allegations in the referenced web article are unsubstantiated. Feronia's `Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) team undertook an investigation into the allegations alongside Groupe d'Action pour Sauver l'Homme et son Environnement (GASHE), a respected DRC-based NGO, which aims to protect the natural environment and its resources while supporting the communities who live within them. They found that no grievances had been lodged with the company and, after extensive engagement with local communities, uncovered no mention of any whipping incident in any circumstance either inside the plantations or in the community.