RSPO Did Virtual Visit to Palm Oil Plantation: Introducing Sustainable Palm Oil to the Youth

RSPO Did Virtual Visit to Palm Oil Plantation: Introducing Sustainable Palm Oil to the Youth

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – For the third time, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) did virtual visit to palm oil plantations Friday (22/4/2022) to see how sustainable process runs in the plantations.

In the event, RSPO was in cooperation with sustainable palm oil producers - PT Sawit Sumbermas Sarana Tbk.; Bumitama Gunajaya Agro (BGA) Group; Yayasan Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) Indonesia; and Sebumi which was guided by Indonesia Youth Influencer, Aie Natasha.

At the chance, the youth joining in Youth In Sustainability (YIS) from many countries, such as, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, and others joined to know how palm oil is sustainably processed.

They saw how palm oil plantation companies produced palm oil, protect the environment, do not cut off high conservation areas to be palm oil, and conducive environmental supports for the workers both female and make, just like BCA Group does in one its subsidiary in Central Kalimantan Province.

PT Sawit Sumbermas Sarana Tbk., even provides special areas to be conservation to conserve protected animals, such as, orangutan, in cooperation with BOSF in Salat Island, Central Kalimantan.

Director of Stakeholder Engagement & Communications, RSPO, Irene Fischbach, told that the event was running in the same day of Earth Day on 22 April. It has been running since 1970. The commemoration is the reflection to what has been doing and what evaluation has been taken to protect our earth from the environmental damages. “One we can learn is from sustainable palm oil sector,” Irene said in RSPO Virtual Tour: A Journey to Reveal the Sustainable Side of Palm Oil, that InfoSAWIT joined.

Irene also mentioned, when RSPO was established, it is the commitment to palm oil supply chain to implement sustainable palm oil standards. “Until now we have more than 500 members within sustainable production about 19 million tons. 60% were from Indonesia to fulfill 40% of the stock globally within land use reaching 6% only in the world,” she told.

That is why to realize food security in the world stock fulfillment when the world population itself keeps growing, and the crisis which still happens until now, sustainable palm oil can be the solution by implementing more holistic approach to solve the challenges and problems that the growers face.

“We believe sustainable palm oil certification can be the way to protect forests and protected animals, and save natural conservation including protecting the local people to escalate their welfare,” Irene told.

She also admitted, many sides helped many things and implemented in their plantation. This is the same with sustainable palm oil introduction that PT Sawit Sumbermas Sarana Tbk., BGA Group, and Yayasan BOSF do, by wrapping it in virtual visit to the plantations.

Senior Manager Assurance Indonesia, RSPO, Djaka Riksanto said, sustainable palm oil cannot be implemented by one side but have to be together with the consumers. It needs to encourage the youth roles to use sustainable palm oil products.

He continued palm oil is one kind of vegetable oil that many countries use in the world. The markets reached about 58% in the globe. Palm oil even provides employment for many people, and is as the exchange provider for Indonesia.

“Palm oil product is not only palm cooking oil. The products sold in many supermarkets, mostly use palm oil, such as, soap, shampoo, personal care, cosmetic, and others,” he said.

For information, palm oil is not from Indonesia but from Central America. It was taken for the first time to Indonesia in 1848 when the Ducth took four seeds of palm oil from Bourbon, Mauritius, and Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam, Netherland. The four seeds were planted in Kebun Raya Bogor and in fact, they grew well.

In 2021 sustainable palm oil production in Indonesia reached 46,8 million tons and Malaysia did about 19 million tons. But Indonesia still faces problems, such as, low productivity. “By increasing the (plantation) productivity, there will be big chances to fulfill vegetable oil demands which keep increasing,” Djaka said.

But he admitted, some countries urged to substitute palm oil to others. This would be the new potential issue because palm oil is the vegetable oil within highly efficient areas. For example, to get 1 tons of palm oil, it needs only 0,25 ha.

If compared to sunflower oil, it needs about 1,43 ha to get 1 ton of sunflower oil. It needs about 2 ha to get 1 ton of soybean oil. “Using other vegetable oil means, there would be 4 to 7 times areas to get the vegetable oil production,” he said.

That is why sustainable palm oil is the solution to fulfill the increasing needs of vegetable oil in the world. Djaka thought, RSPO now has 5.000 members from seven sectors, such as, growers, retailers, consumer goods, banks, independent environmental and social institutions. They are in more than 100 countries whole over the world. (T2)