In partnership with Danone, L’Oréal, Mars, Incorporated, the Livelihoods Funds, and SNV, Musim Mas is launching Decade-Long Project to Advance Regenerative Agriculture
Indonesia, 11 April 2021 – In an unprecedented move, Danone, L’Oréal, Mars, Incorporated, the Livelihoods Funds, Musim Mas, and SNV have partnered to advance regenerative agriculture in North Sumatra, Indonesia. The project, spanning ten years, aims to sustain a deforestation-free supply chain, regenerate 8,000 hectares of degraded land, restore local biodiversity in 3,500 hectares, and improve the livelihoods of 2,500 independent smallholder farmers.
Through its Livelihoods fund for Family Farming (L3F), the Livelihoods Funds have developed an innovative approach where independent smallholders can combine better yields, restore biodiversity, and diversify their income. The project will be piloted on oil palm smallholders enrolled in Musim Mas’ smallholders program that encourages them to plant sustainably, gain access to sustainable markets, and attain sustainability certifications, such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Mars and Danone, who source palm oil products through Musim Mas, are also co-founders and funders of the Livelihoods fund for Family Farming. L’Oréal has committed to source palm kernel oil produced by the independent smallholders from the project area through Musim Mas’ mill. SNV will build on Musim Mas’ smallholders program to integrate and advance regenerative agriculture. The project will also empower smallholders with access to financial facilities for replanting, which would be of value to smallholders in North Sumatra as 50 percent of oil palms in the project area are due for replanting within ten years.
Independent smallholders are usually disadvantaged due to the lack of access to updated technical and operational knowledge, limited access to markets, and financial resources. The result is often lower yield, productivity, profitability, and sustainability standards. As smallholders depend on the forests and environment for their livelihood, it is essential to promote sustainable oil palm production to ensure resilience and long-term economic growth.
With a regenerative agriculture system in place, the project aims to regenerate smallholders’ farms, increase their yield, improve their farms’ biodiversity by improving soil health and integrated pest management, and increase and diversify farmers’ income through intercropping. The project intends to promote non-palm agroforestry models for palm farms near riparian areas, farms approaching replanting periods, and for highly degraded areas inside forest areas. Intervention in these sensitive areas will serve as a buffer between palm farms and protected forests.
The project also focuses on female empowerment, working to balance decision-making power within smallholders’ farms regarding access to and control over resources regarding, for example, intercropping activities.
Musim Mas’ remote sensing capabilities will feed into the project’s progress and impact on land-use change, deforestation, and degradation of land cover around the project area. In addition, the Livelihoods fund for Family Farming will assess and monitor biodiversity management at the soil, farm, and landscape levels.
“Investing in smallholders is a business case for Musim Mas. Our partnership in North Sumatra builds upon our smallholders program and demonstrates that sustainable palm has the potential to improve the environment and lift communities out of poverty,” said Olivier Tichit, Director of Sustainable Supply Chain at Musim Mas. “This project is a reflection of how every actor has something to bring to the table, and we can leverage on the strengths of each other.”
“At Mars, we believe that collaboration is needed to take action on big issues facing our global community. We’re proud to promote sustainable palm oil production through this project to advance regenerative agriculture and support the production of palm oil products from independent smallholder farmers,” said Alastair Child, Chief Sustainability Officer, Mars Wrigley.
“At Danone, we are committed to source our ingredients sustainably. A key part of this is supporting farmers in the transition to regenerative agriculture, with positive impact for the planet and for people. We are excited to support this project and show how regenerative agriculture practices can prevent deforestation and land conversion in Indonesia, while increasing income and livelihoods” said Gemma Brierley, Global Director of Responsible Sourcing and Human Rights, Danone.
“This 10-year project relies on a 360-degree approach where smallholders can combine better yields, restored biodiversity and diversified sources of income. To succeed in this transformation, Livelihoods has designed a coalition of both private and public actors involved at every step of the palm value chain, from businesses to NGOs: they are all contractually engaged on the long-term goals of the project and put together complementary means to reach them” explains Bernard Giraud, President and Co-Founder of the Livelihoods Funds.
“SNV is thrilled to be part of this initiative and coalition. With its innovative approach, the project will support the independent smallholders in the supply chain and combine their good practice with regenerative agriculture, agroforestry, income diversification, and biodiversity conservation in the landscape. We are confident that our expertise and experience in the sustainable palm oil program for the last eight years will contribute positively to the project,” said Rizki Pandu Permana, Country Director SNV Indonesia.
About Musim Mas
Musim Mas is one of the world’s largest, integrated palm oil corporations with operations in every part of the supply chain across the Americas, Europe and Asia. Our global workforce pursues innovative and sustainable developments, ensuring product quality, safety and efficiency as the industry evolves.
As one of the most prominent players in the industry, it aspires to be a responsible leader in the evolution of the industry, driving a new era of sustainability with innovation. To that end, we take active steps to go beyond industry-recognized sustainability standards and will continue to step up in response to critical industry issues in our quest to contribute to a more sustainable industry and equitable world.
About Mars, Incorporated
For more than a century, Mars, Incorporated has been driven by the belief that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. This idea is at the center of who we have always been as a global, family-owned business. Today, Mars is transforming, innovating, and evolving in ways that affirm our commitment to making a positive impact on the world around us.
Across our diverse and expanding portfolio of confectionery, food, and petcare products and services, we employ 133,000 dedicated Associates who are all moving in the same direction: forward. With $40 billion in annual sales, we produce some of the world’s best-loved brands including DOVE®, EXTRA®, M&M’s®, MILKY WAY®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, ORBIT®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, SKITTLES®, BEN’S ORIGINAL™, WHISKAS®, COCOAVIA®, and 5™; and take care of half of the world’s pets through our pet health services AniCura, Banfield Pet Hospitals™, BluePearl®, Linnaeus, Pet Partners™, and VCA™.
We know we can only be truly successful if our partners and the communities in which we operate prosper as well. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire our Associates to take action every day to help create a world tomorrow in which the planet, its people and pets can thrive.
Danone is a leading multi-local food & beverages company building on health-focused and fast-growing categories in 3 businesses: Essential Dairy & Plant-Based products, Waters and Specialized Nutrition. With its ‘One Planet. One Health’ frame of action, which considers the health of people and the planet as intimately interconnected, Danone aims to inspire healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking practices.
As part of its responsible sourcing approach, Danone believes that business growth and performance should also drive social progress, with a long standing commitment to foster inclusive growth and support farmer’s livelihoods.
Danone is also a founding member of the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming, investing in impactful projects that create social and environmental value for all, secure the livelihoods of smallholders farmers and help them to transition to regenerative agriculture practices that have a positive impact on nature.
Learn more about Danone: https://www.danone.com/
L’Oréal is a leading brand in the beauty and cosmetics industry. Together with Livelihoods, L’Oréal has committed to support financially the project activities and purchase RSPO certified Palm Kernel Oil produced by smallholders in the project area, via a multi-year purchase commitment with its supplier Musim Mas.
Palm kernel oil is later used in the processing of some of the Group’s most famous cosmetic ingredients’ according to L’Oréal’s 2020 Forest Policy and associated strategy.
About the Livelihoods Funds & The Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming
The Livelihoods Funds bring together a coalition of private & public actors committed to restore degraded natural ecosystems, build sustainable supply chains, and improve the livelihoods of millions of rural communities.
Created in 2015, the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming (L3F) is an innovative investment vehicle of the Livelihoods Funds co-founded by Mars Incorporated and Danone, later joined by Firmenich and Veolia. The fund pursues a dual mission: help committed brands move to sustainable sourcing models while improving the livelihoods of smallholders. With an investment target of 85 million euros over 10 years, L3F provides timely support for the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices, the empowerment of a new generation of farmers and the restoration of natural resources.
L3F has previously built strategic coalitions in the coconut, vanilla, and shea value chains in the Philippines, in Madagascar and Ghana. This time, L3F has leveraged its expertise in agroecology and sustainable sourcing to co-design this new palm project activities which rely on regenerative agriculture and agroforestry. It has brought together a coalition of actors committed at every step of the value chain to achieve the transition.
SNV is a not-for-profit international development organization that makes a lasting difference in the lives of people living in poverty by helping them raise incomes and access basic services. SNV is based in the Netherlands and has been working in Indonesia since 2013 across three main sectors – agriculture, water sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and energy. Climate change and gender are cross-cutting issues underlying all interventions.
SNV engages with various stakeholders – including supply chain actors, private companies, local NGOs, research institutions, and government agencies – to enhance the livelihoods of smallholders, increase environmentally friendly business benefits and improve sanitation and hygiene for thousands of people in Indonesia.
SNV’s intervention in the palm oil sector focused on guiding the sustainable practice of oil palm production across the country using the deforestation-free supply chain approach. SNV provides the capacity building and advisory services for stakeholders in the supply chain on better management practices, responsible sourcing, including supporting independent smallholders in implementing sustainable practices to improve productivity, reduce environmental impacts, and promote market access.