Largest Number of Independent Smallholders Certified by RSPO in Indonesia
Medan, Indonesia – Musim Mas supports the largest number of independent smallholder farmers certified by the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) in Indonesia. To date, a total of 2,295 farmers from Musim Mas’ smallholder program have achieved RSPO certification. The total certified area is now 5,944.77 hectares, an increase of 13.7% compared to last year.
This month, 203 independent smallholders were audited by an independent certification body and have obtained their certifications. These smallholders are from four farmers’ associations located in Riau and North Sumatra province – PT Siringo Ringo (SRR), PT Bahana Nusa Interindo (BANI), PT Sinar Agro Raya (SAR), and PT Indomakmur Sawit Berjaya (ISB).
The farmers’ associations were part of the International Finance Corporation (IFC)-Musim Mas smallholders program (IPODS). IPODS has been the largest independent smallholders program for palm oil in Indonesia, with over 35,000 smallholders engaged. Smallholders are trained in valuable skills covering good agricultural practices, financial literacy, and personal nutrition. With these life skills, smallholders can improve their crop yields, be exposed to alternate sources of income, and hopefully achieve a better standard of living.
The smallholder program encourages smallholders to undergo certifications and equips them with knowledge on sustainable practices, which prepares them for the assessment by RSPO. The program also helped smallholders sell their RSPO Independent Smallholder Credits to consumer goods companies such as Unilever, PepsiCo, and Nestle earlier this year.
The voluntary certification process assures that farmers operate according to the strict standards of the RSPO. Beyond recognizing their commitment, being RSPO-certified provides smallholders with access to agronomical support, improved incomes through the sales of their RSPO Independent Smallholders Credits, and a closer relationship with certified mills.
“We firmly believe that certification provides a structured approach when engaging with smallholders and demonstrating their progress. It ensures that sustainable practices are implemented consistently and efficiently,” said Rob Nicholls, General Manager of Programs and Projects at Musim Mas. “We dedicate ourselves not just to championing responsible agriculture within our operations but also extending our efforts in transforming the oil palm industry to a more sustainable one. And working with smallholders is a critical step for us to achieve this vision for the industry.”
“This achievement demonstrates that stakeholder collaboration and investment is crucial to supporting smallholders in their sustainability agenda and helping them attain certification,” said Guntur Cahyo Prabowo, RSPO Smallholder Programme Manager for Indonesia. “We call on more medium and large growers to show the same commitment as Musim Mas, to help transform the market and foster greater inclusion of smallholders, who produce 40% of Indonesia’s national production.”