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Singapore, 27 November 2020 – Today, Musim Mas announces a five-year strategy and roadmap for the Aceh landscape, which details the objectives and targets for implementing the No Deforestation, No Peat, and No Exploitation (NDPE) Policy. The strategy and roadmap are summarized in the second edition of the annual progress report for the Aceh landscape.

The strategy can be summarized into three objectives: Engagement, Assurance, and Monitoring and Response. Firstly, the Engagement objective entails outreach to independent smallholders and mills to inform NDPE requirements and the possible consequences of non-compliance. Secondly, the Assurance objective has components to ensure that the mills supplying crude palm oil and palm kernel to Musim Mas are NDPE compliant. Finally, the Monitoring and Response objective contains proactive elements to detect and verify deforestation at the landscape or jurisdictional level. All three objectives have a stated set of measurable targets to indicate progress.

The strategy’s scope involves Musim Mas’ entire supply base in Aceh and covers 2020 until 2025. It will be augmented, where needed, with specific action plans, which have a duration of two to three years. The strategy relies on collaboration with local government, partners, and consumer goods companies to implement the roadmap. One example is the Aceh Tamiang landscape project, where Musim Mas leveraged on existing infrastructure built by IDH (Sustainable Trade Initiative), the local government, CSOs, and other actors, to scale up its smallholders program via a Smallholders Hub.

The Aceh province is a priority landscape for the Group, even though it is a small sourcing area. Its unique biodiversity and history set it apart from other regions. However, Musim Mas shares the concerns for the Aceh-Leuser Ecosystem and has been engaging its suppliers since 2013.

During the past seven years, some mills in our supply chain have been implicated in alleged deforestation and labor rights infringement in Aceh. To date, 96% of our suppliers have participated in our supplier workshops. They are also responsive to conversations on improving sustainability standards, including designing and implementing action plans following grievance cases. Our suppliers are increasingly implementing sustainability and NDPE in their operations. However, such successes should not lead to complacency.

In 2019, Musim Mas laid the foundation for building relationships with the local government and conducted surveys and research to better understand the landscape and its systemic issues.

“The strategy is a formal commitment to this unique landscape. The objectives and targets we are setting are in line with the Group’s overall goals of improved reporting, traceability, and collaboration to transform the industry,” said Olivier Tichit, Musim Mas Director of Sustainable Supply Chain.

“To be successful in Aceh (and elsewhere), we need to collaborate with companies, local government, communities, NGOs and non-profit groups such as IDH. Also, linking both ends of the supply chain, we are actively working with private sector players such as General Mills and call upon others to support us in this journey,” added Olivier.