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Our Collaboration With Verité

Labour and human rights issues in the palm oil supply chain remain an industry-wide challenge. We recognize the complexity of this challenge and have increased our focus on identifying and addressing labour issues throughout our operations.

In August 2016, Musim Mas underwent an independent labour compliance assessment in partnership with Verité to identify risks of non-conformance to various international standards relating to worker protection and occupational health and safety.

2016 Independent Labour Compliance Assessment

The audit covered three main areas: labour and human rights, compensation and hours, and health and safety, comprising in-depth independent interviews with management, working staff and unions, document review, and site inspections.

Verité highlighted the following good labour practices:

  • Strong “no child labour” policies
  • Protection of workers’ rights on minimum wage and ensuring permanent worker status after three months of probation
  • Low precarious employment rate
  • Good maternity policies

Verité also recommended improvements in areas such as overtime hours, legal rights of undocumented workers, equal benefits regardless of gender, and housing policies. We have successfully addressed the following issues:

  • Strengthened overtime policies to ensure compliance with legal standards
  • Formalized temporary employment status through short-term contracts and insurance
  • Ensure explicit recognition of women as heads of families and provide them with entitlement to housing
  • Explored ways to better distribute free and clean water to all households

The full report can be accessed here. 

2021 Independent Labour Compliance Assessment

We conducted a second assessment in 2021, and both of these exercises concluded that our employment practices and systems are robust.

In August 2021, Musim Mas engaged Verité Southeast Asia — an organization addressing labour and human rights issues in companies and supply chains — to conduct an independent labour assessment at Musim Mas plantations. The study involved an assessment based of four mills integrated with plantations in Central Kalimantan, West Sumatra, and South Sumatra. This assessment builds on the 2016 Verité assessment.


  • Determine best practices and recommend improvements based on gaps identified against the labour provisions in the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Principles and Criteria (P&C) 2018, Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG) Charter, relevant Verité Best Practice Standards, and other international standards on worker protection.
  • Review and provide strategic input to guide the Musim Mas System Improvements Plan during the second phase of the program.

Due to the pandemic, the assessment was conducted remotely, primarily through Zoom and telephone conversations, and covered:

  • Facility and estate documents such as written policies and procedures, collective bargaining agreements, employee files, payroll and working hour records, discipline and grievance records
  • In-depth, one-on-one interviews with randomly selected workers representing a cross-section of our workforce from each unit
  • Interviews with key executives at head office and on-site, e.g., managers responsible for sustainability and compliance, recruitment, human resources (HR), general managers, and health and safety personnel

In July 2022, Verité’s comprehensive report was finalized, and the full report was made available on our website. Some key findings and Musim Mas action plans are included in the relevant sections of this report. We have since reviewed Verité’s recommendations and are taking corrective actions to address the identified gaps.

Human Rights Due Diligence for Suppliers

Since 2021, Musim Mas has worked with Verité in areas of special interest to develop and test tools to assess human and labour rights at supplier operations. Verité began with a desktop review and interviews with key Musim Mas staff who oversee supplier commitments, following up with a baseline assessment of three suppliers in March 2022. To provide a broader awareness of potential No Exploitation risks, the three selected suppliers were non-certified and had different profiles: an integrated mill, an independent mill, and an independent plantation. Verité used their findings to facilitate a risk mapping and prioritization exercise segmenting our suppliers according to their risk level.

Musim Mas is using the outcomes of the Verité assessment to develop our Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) strategy.

The HRDD system will be valuable for detecting potential human rights risks and driving decisions for on-the-ground verification needs. We will also ensure it evolves to reflect emerging and revised industry-driven standards and regulations. This includes the provisions of the Palm Oil Collaboration Group’s (POCG) new NDPE Implementation Reporting Framework HRDD for land and labour aspects that is currently being piloted. By 2025, we will begin implementing our HRDD strategy for third-party suppliers.