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Indonesia, 1 July 2020 – Last month, a farmer association of 386 smallholders brokered a deal with Unilever for the purchase of independent smallholders’ RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) credits.

This farmers’ association was certified by the RSPO last year and is part of Musim Mas and IFC (International Finance Corporation)’s smallholders program. Their farms, a total of 685.4 hectares, are in the vicinity of PT Siringo-ringo, Musim Mas’ subsidiary.

Above: Musim Mas and IFC organized a ceremony to celebrate the purchase of RSPO independent smallholder credits. It was held in Rantauprapat, North Sumatra, Indonesia, where the farmers’ association is located.

Our joint Musim Mas-IFC smallholder program integrates smallholders into the sustainable palm oil supply chain by equipping them with good agricultural practices, financial support, and access to market. Market access is crucial for smallholders to increase their incomes and improve their livelihoods.

According to RSPO, only 50 percent of the available sustainable palm oil is purchased due to logistical complexity, lack of industry commitments, and lack of consumer awareness. With limited access to agronomic knowledge and resources, independent smallholders risk being left out of the sustainable palm oil supply chain.

“Facilitation and market support for independent smallholders, an often-marginalized producer group in the oil palm sector, is critical if we are going to address compliance barriers and encourage scalable progress for smallholders committed to growing sustainable palm oil,” said Guntur Cahyo Prabowo, RSPO Indonesia’s Smallholder Program Manager.

 “The purchase of independent smallholder farmers credits, together with investment in programs that focus on training and social and environmental impacts are essential to ensuring a sustainable supply chain,” said Petronella Meekers, Head of Sustainable Sourcing at Unilever. “As one of the largest buyers of RSPO smallholder credits in the industry, we truly believe the empowerment of new generation of farmers and smallholders is vital to transforming the palm oil sector and ensuring that we have a secure and sustainable supply, and one that will help to protect livelihoods for generations to come.”

“Supporting independent smallholders on their sustainable palm oil journey is a concrete step to transform the palm oil supply chain and make sustainable palm oil the norm,” said Olivier Tichit, Musim Mas Director of Sustainable Supply Chain. “We hope to work closely with our customers to enable the uptake of certified sustainable palm oil from smallholders, as our smallholder program scales up with more certified smallholders. Linking farmers and consumers is the basis for a greater understanding and a fairer sharing of the responsibilities and benefits of sustainable palm oil.”


For more information, please contact:

Carolyn Lim
Corporate Communications
+65 6576 4770