Musim Mas Group wins the RSPO Excellence Award for Smallholder Impact
Kuala Lumpur, 28 November 2022 – The leading body for sustainable palm, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), awarded the Musim Mas Group with the Smallholder Impact Programme Award.
Musim Mas runs Indonesia’s most extensive independent smallholder program. Over the years, over 40,000 independent smallholders have benefited from Musim Mas’ smallholder program, which provides them with the know-how to improve their production sustainably and improve their access to the supply chain. The award recognizes Musim Mas’ outstanding contributions towards improving independent smallholder farmer sustainability and livelihoods.
Founded in 2004, RSPO is the leading voluntary initiative working to transform the industry to make sustainable palm oil the norm. At the body’s annual Roundtable Conference 2022, held at the Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur, the 2nd RSPO Excellence Awards were presented to honor member organizations with outstanding performance across key impact areas. The award winners are determined by a panel of judges consisting of representatives from industry, academia, and conservation.
Musim Mas began training independent smallholders in 2015 with the International Finance Cooperation, where the group set out to train smallholder farmers, even though they are not direct suppliers.
Independent smallholders are critical to sustainable palm oil as they make up over 40% of production in terms of land area. They are generally disadvantaged due to a lack of technical know-how to grow oil palm sustainably and tend to lack resources such as access to fertilizers. They, therefore, suffer poorer yields than industrial plantations, and many also lack access to wider supply chains.
Musim Mas’ smallholder program covers modules on good agricultural practices, improving yields and productivity, preventing deforestation, and ultimately encouraging certification.
The group went on to expand its’ smallholder program to training for agricultural officers. In 2020, Musim Mas launched the Train-the-Trainers Smallholders Hubs initiative, where the group trains local government agricultural officers known as Village Extension Officers (VEO)s. VEOs can, in turn, train even more smallholders, effectively serving as a capacity-building program for local governments.
These hubs enable landscape-level coordination between the local government, palm oil growers, refiners, and consumer goods companies. Since then, the group has launched seven Smallholders Hubs across Indonesia.
Over 40,000 smallholder farmers have benefited from Musim Mas’ smallholder program over the years, and approximately 350 VEOs have been trained across its seven hubs. The smallholders trained represent over 83,000 hectares of palm plantations.
The Smallholder Impact Programme Award is a testament to the group’s efforts in helping independent smallholders gain knowledge, resources, and supply chain access, thereby improving smallholder sustainability and livelihoods.
Mr. Rob Nicholls, General Manager of Programs and Projects at Musim Mas Group, said, “We are honored to receive this award, and we are encouraged to further our efforts towards supporting smallholder farmers as we believe that this will lead to the betterment of the industry. Smallholders hold the key to a sustainable palm oil industry.”
About Musim Mas
Musim Mas is one of the largest integrated palm oil corporations with an operational presence in 13 countries across Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Americas. Our main operations are in Indonesia, spanning from cultivation to refining and manufacturing. 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.
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