InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – The claim to implement sustainable palm oil practices encourages palm oil companies in Indonesia to adopt sustainability schemes, such as, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
Many palm oil plantation companies in Indonesia have become RSPO members. Now it is time for PT Astra Agro Lestari Tbk., to be RSPO members in 2024. This would be significant change in sustainable practices.
It was not easy for Astra Agro to be joining RSPO. It happened for some directors did not want to. What InfoSAWIT knew, Astra Agro started to know RSPO membership since 2019 when the representatives of PT Astra Agro Lestari Tbk., attended the 17th RSPO Roundtable Meeting (RT17) in Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, Bangkok, Thailand, on 3 - 6 November 2019.
After that the company consistently joined what RSPO did. The last was RT2023) in Hotel Mulia, Jakarta by the late of November 2023.
What is interesting is that PT Astra Agro Lestari Tbk., rejected to join RSPO. It was known from what the directors did by firmly telling not to join RSPO members. The company encourage the implementation of Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) which was established in 2011. Unfortunately, the national – scale certificate needs further reinforcement.
Indonesian Palm Oil Association (IPOA) when the chairman was Joefly J. Bahroeny and Joko Supriyono as the general secretary, officially resigned from RSPO membership on 29 September 2011.
IPOA claimed to get out from RSPO to support ISPO better. The decision was available for every individual and member that joined IPOA. While those that joined RSPO have permit to be members still.
The resignation of IPOA from RSPO did not change RSPO forum dynamic which exited and never delivered impacts palm oil trade for IPOA members. But it meant IPOA would not participate in RSPO events or obey every regulation that RSPO published.
The Change of Action of Astra Agro
If looking at nowadays situation, Astra Agro would be almost RSPO members. This change of action may mean awareness and developing acknowledge that sustainability in palm oil industries would be significant. By actively taking parts in RSPO activity, PT Astra Agro Lestari Tbk., now shows its commitment to adopt and promote sustainable practices in their operational.
The potential journey to be RSPO member shows that Astra Agro is the real sample from landscape change in palm oil industries in Indonesia. As same as many palm oil companies realizing sustainable practices, it is hoped there would be contribution to palm oil sectors which are more responsible environmentally and socially.
InfoSAWIT did contact with communication department of PT Astra Agro Lestari Tbk., but until the news is published, the company had no response still. (T2)