RSPO certifies independent smallholders from IFC-Musim Mas’ smallholder programme during RT17
Bangkok, 07 November 2019 – Earlier this week, independent Smallholders
from IFC-Musim Mas’ smallholder programme received certificates from the
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) during the launch of RSPO Smallholder
Academy at RT17, an annual meeting. Being RSPO certified represents a
significant milestone in the Smallholders ’ journey towards producing oil palm
sustainably as it increases their market access and income.
Representatives of smallholder farmer associations receiving RSPO certificates at the launch of the RSPO Smallholder Academy at RT 17.
Independent Smallholders often face challenges to produce sustainably, such as little access to knowledge on good agriculture practices and finance, as they are not contractually bounded to any company. Musim Mas and International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of The World Bank Group, commenced Indonesia’s largest-scale smallholder programme in 2015, specifically to address challenges faced by Smallholders . The programme also includes teaching financial literacy, working with various organizations regarding Smallholders ’ land titles, and exploring alternative livelihoods to help diversify Smallholders ’ income sources.
(Left) One of the independent Smallholders in the IFC-Musim Mas smallholder programme, Pak Sakaria Ginting, poses with the RSPO certificate. Pak Ginting is the chairperson of farmer association Pekebun Swadaya Kelapa Sawit Labuhan Batu, located around Musim Mas' mill, PT Siringo Ringo.
Together, both organizations have engaged over 22,000 independent Smallholders and empowered 705 of them to achieve RSPO certification – a challenging feat considering these Smallholders have no history of being grouped into associations. These Smallholders are located around Musim Mas’ mills, PT Siringo Ringo (SRR) and PT Indomakmur Sawit Berjaya (ISB) in Rantauprapat, North Sumatra and Rokan Hulu, Riau respectively.
During a sideline meeting at RT17, Musim Mas also received a certificate of appreciation from FORTASBI (Forum Petani Kelapa Sawit Berkelanjutan Indonesia) to commend its efforts towards helping Smallholders attain sustainability certification.
“Independent Smallholders represent not only a large percentage of Musim Mas’ supply base, but also are a growing producer group. The progress in our smallholder programme demonstrates that Smallholders are interested in sustainability but many lack the capacity to do so,” said Olivier Tichit, Director of Sustainable Supply Chain. "Therefore, it is critical for Palm Oil companies and companies downstream to support Smallholders to produce sustainably.”
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