Wilmar International

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Wilmar International
Traded as SGX: F34
Industry Food processing
Founded 1991
Headquarters Singapore
Key people
Kuok Khoon Hong, Chairman
Products Palm Oil, Sugar, Specialty Chemicals and Biodiesel
Revenue Increase $44.71 billion USD (2011)
Profit Increase $1.601 billion USD (2011)
Total assets Increase $23.36 billion USD (March 2010)
Total equity Increase $30.31 billion USD (March 2010)
Number of employees
Website www.wilmar-international.com

Wilmar International Limited[1] founded in 1991, is Asia’s leading agribusiness group. It ranks amongst the largest listed companies by market capitalisation on the Singapore Exchange, being the second largest as of the September of 2010.[2] It is a Singaporean investment holding company that provides management services to its 400+ subsidiary companies.[3] It is also ranked 223rd in the Fortune Global 500 list in 2012.

Wilmar International business activities include oil palm cultivation, edible oils refining, oilseeds crushing, consumer pack edible oils processing and merchandising, specialty fats, oleochemicals, and biodiesel manufacturing, and grains processing and merchandising. It has over 450 manufacturing plants and an extensive distribution network covering China, India, Indonesia and some 50 other countries. The Group is backed by a multinational workforce of over 93,000 people.

Wilmar's merchandising and processing segment encompasses merchandising of palm oil and laurics-related products, operations of palm oil processing and refinery plants and crushing, further processing and refining of a range of edible oils, oilseeds, grains and soyabean. Its consumer products segment has an oil-bottling business in the People's Republic of China, Vietnam and Indonesia. Its plantation and palm oil mills segment engages in oil palm cultivation and milling. Other segments include manufacturing and distribution of fertiliser and ship-chartering services.

In 2012, Wilmar was named the world's least environmentally friendly company by US news magazine Newsweek.[4] Due to their poor environmental performance they were excluded[5] in 2013 from The Government Pension Fund of Norway, the largest stock owner in Europe.[6]


The founder of Wilmar International was Martua Sitorus from Indonesia. The Chairman is Kuok Khoon Hong. Forbes named him, Hong, third richest in Singapore in 2009. Martua Sitorus was the 2nd richest person in Indonesia in 2009.[7][8]


Unilever is one of the main customers of Wilmar. Unilever considered their palm oil to be from Sumatra in 2007[citation needed]. Unilever and Wilmar are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) which brings together retailers, producers and NGOs like Oxfam and WWF.[9]



  • Commenced operations as a palm oil trading company


  • Established first compound fertiliser manufacturing plant with a production capacity of 120,000 tonnes per year


  • First oleochemicals plant commenced operation in Shanghai


  • Acquired a controlling interest in Jakarta Stock Exchange listed PT Cahaya Kalbar Tbk, a producer of specialty oils and fats for the chocolate, cocoa confectionery industry, bakery and cakes ingredient industry, and beverage and food industry


  • Renamed Wilmar International Limited on 14 July 2006 upon completion of the reverse takeover of Ezyhealth Asia Pacific Ltd.[10]


  • Completed the merger with Kuok Group’s palm plantation, edible oils, grains and related businesses in a deal worth US$2.7 billion, as well as a restructuring exercise to acquire the edible oils, oilseeds, grains and related businesses of Wilmar Holdings Pte Ltd (WHPL), including interests held by Archer Daniels Midland Asia Pacific (ADM) and its subsidiaries in these businesses, for US$1.6 billion;
  • Formed a joint venture (JV) with Olam International Ltd and SIFCA Group, one of Africa’s largest agro-industrial groups with significant interests across palm oil, cotton seed oil, natural rubber and sugar sectors in Africa. The JV was aimed at developing a regional leadership position in palm oil, natural rubber, sugar and potentially in other agricultural plantation crops in Africa;
  • Entry into the Philippines with the setting-up of two coconut oil mills and refineries in Roxas, Zamboanga del Norte and Gingoog, Misamis Oriental


  • Formed a joint venture with Nizhny Novgorod Fats & Oils Group and Delta Exports Pte Ltd to spearhead expansion in Russia and the CIS countries


  • Expanded into the sugar business through the acquisition of Sucrogen Limited, the largest raw sugar producer and refiner in Australia, and PT Jawamanis Rafinasi, a leading sugar refinery in Indonesia
  • Acquired Natural Oleochemicals, a leading oleochemicals producer with significant market share in Europe and Asia and a growing presence in USA


  • Further expanded into the sugar business through the acquisition of PT Duta Sugar International in Indonesia and Proserpine Mill in Australia
  • Expanded its African footprint to Ghana through the acquisition of Benso Oil Palm Plantations Limited, a company listed on Ghana Stock Exchange


  • Acquired approximately 30,000 hectares of land in Nigeria for expansion of oil palm plantations;
  • Established a 50:50 joint venture company, Yihai Kerry Kellogg Foods (Shanghai) Company Ltd, with Kelllogg Company for the manufacture, sale and distribution of breakfast cereals and savoury snacks in China;
  • Formed a 50:50 Joint Venture with Clariant Ltd for production and sales of amines and selected amines derivatives;
  • Formed strategic partnership with Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) in tropical oils refining in Europe, global fertiliser purchasing and distribution, and global ocean freight operations. Launched Olenex CV. headquartered in Rolle, Switzerland to handle the sales and marketing of refined vegetable oils and fats to European Area and Switzerland
  • Completed four palm oil milling plants with an aggregate hourly capacity of 200 MT

Ethical Issues[edit]

According to Friends of the Earth Netherlands, Wilmar International starts forest fires and violates the rights of local populations.[11]

In 2004, Friends of the Earth Netherlands performed a review of Wilmar's palm oil operations in Sumatra Riau as undertaken by PT Jatim Jaya Perkasa. Wilmar had 20,800 hectares of land there and the operation was financed by the Dutch Rabobank and the International Finance Corporation. Satellite photos proved that in 2004 the plantations were on sea shore peat rain forests, the depth of the peat being four meters, whereas such land is actually protected under Indonesian law. Nevertheless, in 1997 Wilmar received permission to plant there despite it being peat land. According to locals, the plantation endangers the Sumatran tiger population that inhabits the area, and this became a point of conflict with Wilmar in 2004. Soon after, Wilmar sold PT Jatim Jaya Perkasaand and joined the WWF Palm Oil Association (WWF for World Wide Fund for Nature).

In July 2007 Friends of the Earth and two local environmental organizations criticized Wilmar's illegal forest felling in Kalimantan, in Indonesia.[9] As a result of this campaign against Wilmar's projects in Sambas, West Kalimantan, the company agreed to implement a number of new measurues and policies.[12]

In July 2013, a report published by the WWF which documented that Wilmar (as well as the Indonesian company Asian Agri) were purchasing palm oil fruit which was grown illegally in Tesso Nilo National Park, Sumatra. [13] According to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, both Wilmar and Asian Agri took immediate action to stop this illegal sourcing.[14]


External links[edit]