Musim Mas Group – PT Berkat Sawit Sejati (BSS)

PT Berkat Sawit Sejati (PT BSS) is a subsidiary of the Musim Mas Group (under Musim Mas Holdings Pte Ltd). We have been a member of RSPO since 2004 and our Group was the first from Indonesia to join the RSPO.

Access to the relevant case tracker on the RSPO Complaints website can be found here.

(1) A complaint made by Hutan Kita Institute (HaKI) to RSPO alleged that Musim Mas’ subsidiary, Berkat Sawit Sejati (BSS) developed an oil palm plantation on land belonging to the Dangku Wildlife Reserve and on production forest.

June 2019

We received an email on 24 June 2019 from RSPO informing us that a complaint against PT BSS was officially accepted by RSPO. Furthermore RSPO requested a response to the allegations

July – December 2019

On 10 July 2019, we provided a written and timely response with supporting evidence against the alleged violations. Subsequent responses with additional evidence were submitted in September and December 2019. PT BSS had obtained the Land Use Title (HGU) in 2001, following the applicable verification process at the time. Musim Mas purchased PT BSS several years afterwards, in 2004. Various verification processes subsequently confirmed that PT BSS’s concession area falls outside the forested area.

In 2007 there was a query from government agency about PT BSS’s HGU. This query was addressed by the local Regent at that time, whom reaffirmed that PT BSS had obtained the HGU properly and that the concession was located outside any forested area. No response from the government agency was received to this submission.

In 2015, we actively reached out to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (Kementerian Lingkungan dan Kehutanan) to reaffirm BSS’s concession boundaries and subsequently, in 2018, the Ministry of Environment conducted a field visit to BSS to verify the planted areas. Musim Mas will continue to actively support the resolution of the case, as we have since 2007.

December 2019

The RSPO Secretariat completed a review of the supporting documents that has been submitted.

January 2020

According to the RSPO case tracker the investigation has been completed and the RSPO Complaints desk proceeded with the development of a briefing note.

July 2020

As of now we have not received a response nor a decision from the RSPO Complaints Panel.

October 2020

On 21 October 2020, we received an official decision from the RSPO Complaints Panel that the complaint against PT BSS is dismissed. The Complaints Panel Decision Letter can be found here.

The Complaints Panel recognizes that the overlap of PT BSS concession with forest area and the Dangku Wildlife Reserve stems from the fact that there are separate map custodians for a specific geographical area. PT BSS was able to demonstrate the right to use the land through the HGU. The Certification Body’s 2019 and 2020 Surveillance audit report also showed that the legal boundaries are clearly marked and visibly maintained. The Complaints Panel also took into consideration that PT BSS has been proactive in engagement with the relevant Indonesian authorities to confirm the boundaries of the forested areas. Accordingly, the Complaints Panel found PT BSS to be in compliance with RSPO Principles and Criteria.

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