InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – Ever since Smallholder Inclusion for Better Livelihood & Empowerment or SMILE was launched in 2020, the program reached many achievements, such as, 698 plasma smallholders participate in the first phase program; memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing between PT Inti Indosawit Subur, one subsidiary of Asian Agri with each cooperation in North Sumatera, Riau, and Jambi; and the audit conducted by Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
Today, SMILE celebrates 239 independent smallholders in District of Labuhan Batu, North Sumatera Province that passed RSPO audit which ran on 18-21 April 2022 with the status, no finding. RSPO certificate was handed over by Bernard A. Riedo, Director of Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations Asian Agri, Bremen Yong, Director of Sustainability Apical, Maeda Yasuhiko, President Director of PT Kao Indonesia Chemicals, and Guntur Cahyo Prabowo, Acting Head of Smallholders RSPO Indonesia to the Chairman of Koperasi Konsumen Tebing Tinggi Pangkatan Sejahtera, Khairul Anam.
SMILE is the program between Kao-Apical and - Asian Agri; by the combined power from the three companies, the program helped the smallholders’ welfare and economy by solving the issues that influenced the independent smallholders’ plantation productivity directly by focusing to empower the best and sustainable practice towards climate change.
“Palm oil industries are important for the developing countries, including Indonesia because they help and create direct work for 2,6 million smallholders. The independent smallholders delivered about 40% of palm oil production in Indonesia. We hope, by having SMILE, we could increase their welfare. We are very proud of the smallholders, our partners that succeeded RSPO audit by the result ‘no finding’ status,” Director of Sustainability & Stakeholder Relations Asian Agri, Bernard A. Riedo as in the official statement to InfoSAWIT, Thursday (14/7/2022).
Bremen Yong told, the company launched SMILE to solve the social and economic gap that influenced their souces of living by delivering training and workshop to escalate their technical knowledge.
“These enable them to get RSPO certificate in their first phase audit by implementing the best management practice. We are proud of their achievement and hope that they would keep developing in the future,” Bremen Yong told.
Meanwhile Maeda said, this is the good news in SMILE. By the program, the company can develop sustainable supply chain by increasing their skills to adopt the best plantation practices for the better life.
For the independent smallholders, the program delivered huge impact. They got advantages not only by learning the right and best agro-farming in their plantation but also the additional tools besides the premium price.
Khairul Anam representing the cooperation, told, there are lots of advantages in SMILE. “We hope other smallholders are interesting in joining the program,” Khairul said. (T2)