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Exit of world's largest palm oil trading company from PA identification committee worries enviros

JAKARTA — Environmental watchdogs say the exit of the world’s largest refiner and trader of palm oil from a committee that helps identify forest areas for protection could hurt efforts to achieve greater sustainability in agribusiness.

Singapore-listed agribusiness giant Wilmar International resigned April 2 from the steering group of the High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA), a widely supported mechanism to distinguish forest areas that should be protected from degraded areas that can be developed. Wilmar was also the first company in the palm oil industry to pledge, in 2013, to end deforestation in its supply chains.

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