InfoSAWIT, NUSA DUA –In the last four annual roundtable meeting of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), it is admitted that there are urgent needs to handle and solve the systemic violation that the palm oil labors faced. In this annual meeting in Bali, Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG) offered the most supportive proposal to increase the available certification system. In the same time for the first time, palm oil industries in Indonesia, the member of POIG and the big palm oil producer, Musim Mas published the new guidance to its partners through the validation publication of obedience of the independent labor.
“The members of POIG lead the way to prove and determine the innovation needed to improve the system of palm oil industrial guarantee,” Agribusiness Campaign Director of Rainforest Action Network (RAN), Robin Averbeck said in the official statement to InfoSAWIT, Wednesday (29/11).
He also said, the assessment of the legal labor condition is needed and the regulation of assessment and the action plant to the improvement published by Musim Mas would be the new benchmark to the best practice in this sector.
Meanwhile the study done by WWF about the Innovation of Guarantee told some recommendation to RSPO so that it could adopt the quality guarantee system used independently to verify the obedience of the members according to the standards. The main point of the innovation covers the fund preparation of the third side, the increasing transparence and the limit of audit by the same auditor and the certification institution in a row.
“Palm Oil Innovation Group has shown that we could increase the system of guarantee through the innovation. The study of WWF recommended that RSPO should empower and improve the system, including through the fund making of the third side to increase the objectivity and the audit integration, vanish the financial dependence from the certification institutions to their members, and the audit test without letting them know in the first place,” front man of WWF and Chairman of POIG, Matthias Diemer said.
POIG supported the recommendation and has adopted some recommendation to increase the progress verification of the members to the Article of Association of POIG if it is worth to do. The support is reflected in the revision of POIG Article of Association Verification Indicator or IndikatorVerifikasiAnggaranDasarPOIG that is used to test the obedience of the members of AGropalma, DAABON, and Musim Mas. The Audit Guidance in POIG is in process to finish.
Verité also did assessment to three palm oil factories and 8 plantations of Musim Mas in Central Kalimantan and Riau. The assessment is to identify the risk of mis-adjustment to the Article of Association in POIG, Principles and Criteria in RSPO, the Verite Best Practice Standard, and the other international norm about the labor protection, health and work safety. They also target to determine the innovation needed.
“As one biggest palm oil producer in Southeast Asia that joins POIG for the first time, Musim Mas is open to the comprehensive labor assessment as part of its commitment to increase the welfare of the labors – the men who become the basic of the business. Hopefully, this would be the prior for the other industries to have better introspection about the labor, implement the important changes to vanish the labor issues from palm oil industries to get the verified and responsible production,” Petra Meekers, Director of CSR and Sustainable development, PT Musim Mas, said.
The field assessment was done for about nine days by involving the deep interview to 123 labors out of the management without the presence of the managers. Auditor also did study of document about the labors, payment, working time, local inspection, interview with the representative of the management, labor union, and the smallholders. The audit and finding in the factories and the plantations are categorized in three big groups, they are, labor, human rights, compensation, work time, and the healthy and work safety.
One year after the assessment and up to the report release, POIG had reviewed the gap in the project areas to solve the main issues so that most of the cases had solution. Musim Mas also does other things that need other consideration besides solving the independent verification that fully operates based on Articles of Association in POIG.
POIG has handed over the Articles of Association in POIG to the Task Force of P&C RSPO who is in charge to review the certification standards by hoping that there will be additional conditions and could be written in the revision standard for every members in November 2018 to help the goals, they are, no deforestation, no planting in peat, and no exploitation.(T2)