Over 2,000 Independent Smallholders from IFC-Musim Mas’ Smallholder Program Are Certified Under RSPO
Riau, Indonesia, 21 December 2020 – To date, a total of 2,092 independent smallholders from International Finance Corporation (IFC)-Musim Mas’ smallholder program have been certified under the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) standards. Among those smallholders, 232 of them are female. This brings the total certified plantation area to 5,229.44 hectares.
The program has helped the 1,358 independent smallholders that were certified in November 2020 to sell RSPO Credit to Nestle, Unilever, and PepsiCo. The transaction in Palm Trace was done in December 2020. This is the second batch of smallholders IFC and Musim Mas has helped certify. These smallholders were grouped into four farmers associations located around Musim Mas’ mills, PT Siringo Ringo (SRR), PT Bahana Nusa Interindo (BANI), PT Sinar Agro Raya (SAR) and PT Indomakmur Sawit Berjaya (ISB) across Riau and North Sumatra province.
As the largest palm oil independent smallholder program in Indonesia, Musim Mas and IFC have engaged over 35,000 independent smallholders. The program has also helped integrate 705 smallholders into the sustainable palm oil supply chains as they sold their RSPO credits to Unilever in November 2019.
The Chairmen of four farmers associations receiving RSPO certificates.
Certification means increased market access and higher incomes for smallholder farmers. It is crucial given independent smallholders are not tied to any company, and palm oil prices have been falling and have fallen further due to COVID-19 uncertainty.
Being RSPO certified is not an easy process, nor is it quick, especially for independent smallholders who are usually disadvantaged due to lack of access to technical knowledge and limited access to financial resources.
“To encourage independent smallholders to produce oil palm sustainably, we need to understand what is in it for them,” said Olivier Tichit, Director of Sustainable Supply Chain of Musim Mas. “For instance, linking them to the market and finding ways to recognize their good practices and progress.”
“This is the biggest collaboration between independent smallholders and RSPO certified mills this year. As an active partner of the RSPO Smallholder Trainer Academy, we applaud Musim Mas’ achievement. It’s a great example of how the 2018 RSPO P&C can be implemented in future to support smallholder inclusion and improve livelihoods by helping them access the sustainable value chain. We hope other big mills can learn from this journey,” said Tiur Rumondang, Country Director – Indonesia Operation RSPO.