This morning employees of News Corp are being met by environmentalists handing out the Not Australian, attached, as they entered head office. The protest action organised by Markets For Change focused on newsprint originating from a subsidiary of Korindo, an Indonesian – Korean palm oil conglomerate responsible for shocking broad scale deforestation in West Papua.
“The Australian connection to this rogue forest destroyer, which itself admitted to setting hundreds of illegal fires to clear rainforests, was uncovered by Markets For Change and the US group Mighty Earth after the company lost all of its known big brand customers of palm oil but still refused to stop their destructive rampage,” said Peg Putt, CEO of Markets For Change.
The groups began tracking down Korindo‘s subsidiaries and affiliates and approaching their customers about the appalling environmental and social damage inflicted by the parent company.
“Here in Australia we found that The Australian and Courier Mail are produced on newsprint supplied by the wholly owned Korindo subsidiary Aspex. This applies specifically to newspapers printed in parts of Queensland,” Ms Putt revealed.
“Their reputation is tainted by this association.”
“The newsprint used for the vast majority of News Corp papers around Australia is fine – so we know they can do the right thing.”
The groups informed News Corp, parent company of the affected newspapers The Australian and The Courier Mail, about the connection and asked them to source their newsprint elsewhere. No change has yet occurred.
“The newsprint itself is not made from the rainforests that are being annihilated. It’s the association with Korindo that’s the issue. We say that customer companies should commit to responsible product from responsible companies when they source their materials.”
“We hope for a good result as there are suitable alternative supplies of newsprint available and News Corp has previously had a good record on their paper sourcing, but we need some public pressure onto News Corp to make this change now.”
“The ‘Not Australian’ we produced is an entertaining way to highlight the issue,” Ms Putt concluded.