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RSPO Certification Development in Indonesia: Prioritize to Encourage Smallholders

Doc. InfoSAWIT
RSPO Certification Development in Indonesia: Prioritize to Encourage Smallholders

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA - In 2022, the plantations that were certified by RSPO Indonesia developed 4% and got wider 6% since January 2023 to September 2023. The numbers represented more than 2,5 million hectares plantations, including those and belonging to independent smallholders. In 2022, 25 mills got certified based on RSPO principles and criteria. 18 mills got certified in the third quarter of 2023.

RSPO certification developed 41% for independent smallholders compared to 2021. The numbers were funded up to US$180.000 and distributed through RSPO Smallholder Support Fund (RSSF). To fulfill the increasing demands on getting certificates in smallholders’ level, in November 2022 to October 2023, it was hardly

US$ 141.000 distributed to 17 smallholders’ projects, particularly to balance certification audit costs to deliver advantages for more than 5.000 smallholders.

Asian Agri – palm oil plantation producer within its subsidiary, PT. Inti Indosawit Subur is one of RSPO members. It operates for long. Asian Agri is one company that operates in Indonesia and commits to develop sustainable palm oil in this country. each of Asian Agri’s plantation in North Sumatera, Riau, Jambi, and its plasma plantation got RSPO certificate.

In 2020, Asian Agri and palm cooking oil company - Apical, and chemical and cosmetic company from Japan, KAO launched Smallholder Inclusion for Better Livelihood & Empowerment (SMILE) Program to help independent smallholders to escalate their harvest and sources of living.

“Less than 20% of total independent smallholders have been certified. SMILE is the multi-party collaboration which was designed to take independent smallholders and secure sustainable palm oil supply chain in Indonesia through certification. By taking advantages on the experiences of Asian Agri in partnership with smallholders, we hope to encourage them to face the challenges, for instance, lack of agronomical knowledges, more market access. This is part of our long-term commitment to help about 5.000 smallholders to get RSPO certificate in 2030,” Doris Sukanto, Sustainability Officer Asian Agri said in Focus Group Discussion (FGD) Sawit Berkelanjutan Vol. 15, with the theme “RSPO dan Anggotanya Menegaskan Kembali Komitmen untuk Mengembangkan Sektor Minyak Sawit Berkelanjutan Indonesia Dalam 20 Tahun Kedepan”, Thursday, 9 November 2023, di Jakarta.


Transformation of Palm Oil Downstream Markets in Indonesia

In Indonesia, CSPO production volume escalated 2,9% to be 8,64 million metric tons in 2022 to 8,4 million metric tons in 2021. CSPO consumption also increased up to 3,9% to be 318,400 metric tons in 2022 to 229,000 metric tons in 2021. In the domestic, CSPO absorption escalate from 1,2% in 2021 to be 1,7% in 2022.

Deputy Director of Market Transformation RSPO, Indonesia, Mahatma Windrawan Inantha said that for many years, RSPO members played fundamental roles to lead sustainability level higher in palm oil sectors in Indonesia. Every sign showed that the industries are ready to get sustainability standard in the globe which is RSPO to be the best industries.

“The increasing certification both in the smallholders, mills, local absorption, remediation, and conservation, we know it to have good progress. Everything depends on the power of collaboration,” he said.


Conservation through RSPO Certification

In 2022, 362.000 hectares of forests and areas where they needed conservation, were protected globally through RSPO procedures, systems, and standards. The numbers were six times wider than DKI Jakarta, Indonesia that represented the biggest proportion of conservation, which was 150.000 hectares or 40% of RSPO’s conservation areas.

WWF, one member - founder of RSPO actively produces sustainable palm oil thrugh many programs and project in some prior conservation areas in landscape – base in Indonesia. The main goal is about to vanish deforestation from palm oil supply chain through innovation and combination of landscape and jurisdiction approaches.

WWF also involved in market intervene by encouraging downstream companies to use CSPO. The initiative was from market potential in Indonesia.

According to survey by WWF, Nielsen and MarkPlus, consumers in big cities to purchase sustainable products (such as, in CSPO – base) escalated from 63% in 2017 to be 82% in 2020. But CSPO products in CSPO – base in the markets were limited still. It happened for the limited CSPO suppliers.

Angga Prathama Putra from WWF Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil Project Leader said that the organization is in collaboration with 1.000 smallholders to implement sustainable palm oil practices. 700 of them got RSPO certificate, 247 smallholders got traceability map by producing 1.402 tons CPO. “We are getting new smallholders to be our members that reached 490,” she said.

To escalate CSPO absorption, WWF initiated with 46 stakeholders. 11 of them are committed to escalate sustainable palm oil production. “We took three mills to take the consumers in using sustainable palm oil products,” Angga said.


Remediation as the Condition in RSPO Certification

In 2015, Remediation and Compensation Procedures were adopted for RSPO member to solve deforestation issue in the past as one condition in RSPO certification process. On 31 December 2022, through land use change area (LUCA), it identified 658 cases in the globe that needs plans of remediation and plans of compensation. It would depend on how the case of disobedience happened. Members of RSPO that operate in Indonesia contributed 29% of 311 plans of compensation which has been approved to conduct remediation that would lay on about 69.804 hectares or larger than DKI Jakarta.

RSPO member, PT Bio Inti Agrindo (PT BIA) that its plantations and plasma plantations got RSPO certificate, is the sample about how palm oil company prioritized to develop remediation and compensation procedures to escalate sustainability standards in this sector.

Kartika Dewi, ESG Manager of PT BIA said that PT BIA was the first palm oil plantation company in Papua that got RSPO certificate. “We are strongly committed to corporate social responsibility, conservation, and people’s development program,” she said.

On 20 - 22 November 2023, RSPO would be host to discuss sustainable palm oil (RT 2023) in Jakarta. The conference would be the day to commemorate the 20th RSPO anniversary which will be in April 2024. The theme would be ‘Mitra untuk 20 Tahun Berikutnya’ and would present main trends, collective actions that palm oil plantations/industries could take for advantages to increase sustainable palm oil development globally. The experts from many countries would gather and discuss every urgent topic to get solution, including the labors, climate fund, traceability system, future guarantee, smallholders’ inclusivity, food security, jurisdiction approach, and many more. Further information about RT2023 would be available here. (T2)