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Date Progress
September 2019

30 September 2019:

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) published a report titled, “The Last of the Leuser Lowlands: Field Investigation Exposes Big Brands Buying Illegal Palm Oil From the Singkil-Bengkung Peatlands”, which highlighted the role of major food brands, traders and global banks in driving deforestation in Leuser Ecosystem’s Singkil-Bengkung region.

The report alleged several palm oil mills to be sourcing illegal FFB, one of which was Global Sawit Samesta (GSS). GSS sourced illegal FFB through a broker, CV. Buana Indah who in turn bought from Smallholders illegally planting palms inside the Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve.

Musim Mas’ official statement to RAN’s report can be found here.

We have reached out to GSS the moment we received the report and we will conduct verification of the allegations made. The field verification will be conducted in October 2019.

October 2019

Our Sustainability team went to GSS to verify the supply chain linkage between GSS and the broker, CV Buana Indah established in the RAN report. We will be reviewing the report of the field verification closely when it is released, and work with engaging GSS in the meantime.

We will be holding a supplier workshop at the end of the month, and GSS have agreed to attend. We will be sharing our Sustainability policy, Traceability requirements and NDPE commitments during this workshop.

GSS attended a supplier workshop held in Medan by Musim Mas where we explained our Sustainability policies and procedures, as well as our requirements.

We conducted a field verification from 10 – 11 October 2019 via document review, site visits and one-on-one interviews with various parties. The mill has been cooperative and has dedicated resources to implement sustainability matters.

It was confirmed that GSS had been sourcing FFB from the agent, CV Buana Indah (CV BI).

The mill weighbridge records in 2019 revealed that GSS was sourcing from Laot Bangko and ASDAL. There was indication that CV BI was sourcing from farmers who have encroached into Rawa-Singkil. However, CV BI does not keep any traceability records.

GSS stopped sourcing from CV BI on 02 October 2019. Currently, the mill has Traceability to Plantation (20% of the FFB supply) and traceability to the agents.

GSS has an existing Traceability SOP which includes legality checks to the plantation, however, implementation is lacking.

  • Written supplier agreements are in place with its FFB suppliers required to provide traceability information.
  • There is a public notice board at the weighbridge requiring FFB suppliers to ensure that the supply comes from a legal source but implementation/enforcement is lacking.

The mill has increased resources by recruiting a Sustainability Officer and GIS staff to start on the traceability work. This will help the implementation of the action plan. GSS has been ISPO-certified since 27 July 2018.

Community leaders were interviewed to help us understand the community encroachment into protected areas and the efforts taken to rehabilitate the area. Population displacement into the protected Singkil swamp area took place during the various phases of conflict in Aceh (starting in the 1970s). The temporary settlements became permanent over the years, including some perennial crops such as oil palm.

An action plan was developed and it includes the following:

  1. Map showing the high-risk areas, which is to be shared with all FFB suppliers
  2. Request all FFB suppliers to commit to sourcing only from outside of the protected areas
  3. Stop FFB purchase from suppliers without a signed commitment letter
  4. All suppliers should be able to document that FFB sourced are from legal sources (with user rights and not associated with protected areas), and are respectful of social and human rights. Verify the legality of suppliers
  5. Develop/update traceability SOP and share it with all suppliers
  6. Document the location of direct suppliers (plantations, direct/indirect agents and direct small growers/farmers) and map the Smallholders supply shed, starting with risk-based traceability
  7. Develop a traceability action plan

The monitoring of the delivery of the action plan will be conducted by Musim Mas.

December 2019 Another supplier workshop will be held in Subulussalam, Aceh Province, for the mills and FFB suppliers within the Singkil district.
October 2020 We contacted PT GSS to get updates.

Musim Mas has had no transactions with PT GSS since October 2019.

PT GSS has shown progress in its action plan as follows:

  1. PT GSS has informed (its FFB suppliers) on the location of high-risk areas and of TTP requirements.
  2. PT GSS has prepared Mutual Agreement Letters with its FFB suppliers and still continuing its efforts to inform and sign agreements with all its suppliers.
  3. Suppliers’ FFB legality verification is still ongoing.
  4. PT GSS has prepared and issued a SOP for Traceability to Plantation (TTP).
  5. PT GSS has reported having achieved 100% of FFB Traceability.

Field verification is still not possible due to the COVID-19 situation.

Overall, PT GSS has completed 95% of the action plan.

June 2021 23 June 2021:

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) published an article titled, “Indonesian Forestry Titan Royal Golden Eagle Remains a Major Roadblock to Progress in Saving Leuser Ecosystem”.

The article exposed RAN’s undercover field investigation in April 2021 which collected evidence showing that FFB from PT Laot Bangko has been harvested and transported to PT GSS.

At the time of the grievance, PT GSS was not supplying to Musim Mas.

October 2021 Musim Mas conducted field verification to PT GSS on 13-15 October 2021 to review the agreed action plan progress and also sought clarification regarding RAN’s June 2021 article.

Regarding RAN’s article, PT GSS explained the following:

  1. PT GSS have been in contact with PT Laot Bangko concerning the sustainability issue and were informed that PT LB is committed to halt the land clearing until the HCV-HCS assessment using licensed assessor is completed.
  2. In August 2021, PT GSS together with third party NGO visited PT Laot Bangko to verify the allegation raised by NGO

PT GSS has stopped purchasing FFB from PT Laot Bangko on 10 June 2021.

PT GSS also has a Corporate Policy dated 01 September 2021, which includes a commitment to implement the principles of sustainability according to national and international standards. The policy can be accessed via this link.

December 2021
Following up on the findings from the field verification on 13-15 October 2021, we recommended points for improvements to be carried out by PT GSS in order to achieve full compliance.

On 16 December 2021, Musim Mas verification team had another meeting with the PT GSS Representative to check and verify the improvement recommendations. PT GSS showed significant progress.

In addition to fulfilling recommendations for improvement, in order to be able to enter MM supply chain, PT GSS has agreed to go through a verification process for the first 2 years of supply.

Considering the commitment and progress in traceability, we decided that PT GSS can re-enter the Musim Mas supply chain.

Musim Mas will continue to monitor the progress of PT GSS.