In February 2015,TuK Indonesia launched a research report on tycoons in the Indonesian palm oil sector1. The findings of the research, done by Profundo, have opened many eyes about how big
the control of the tycoons is over this sector. It showed how many land banks of undeveloped plantations are under their control, and most importantly, how financiers have helped this power concentration took place.
Many institutions across various sectors referred to the research in their publications. As expected, it also supported the calls of NGOs for an agrarian reform and for a sustainable finance sector. Also, it stimulated the discussion on the importance of developing a downstream industry in palm oil. In addition, the public also was made more aware of the existing conflicts in the palm oil sector, and how the financial sector is also responsible to improve this situation.
TuK INDONESIA believes that many of the tycoons will participate
– directly and indirectly – in Indonesia’s upcoming elections: the election for the national parliament, provincial assemblies and district assemblies will be held in 2018, and the presidential election will be held in 2019. It has been three years after the launching of the tycoon publication, and TuK believes that it is the best moment to revisit the research and gather the latest information and data on the issue.
Profundo and TuK INDONESIA therefore has undertaken this update
of its study on the power of tycoons in the Indonesian palm oil sector. The findings of this (update) research will be used by TuK Indonesia, in to collaboration with others, to identify the connections between the tycoons and politically exposed persons involve in the elections. It will help to provide the public with better information on the candidates promoted by the political parties and in the end, will help the public to make better decisions in using their right to vote.
This is a summary version of a more detailed data set on the overview, ownership, land bank and financing of 25 biggest palm oil groups controlled by the tycoons in Indonesia.