Driving Sustainable Palm Oil Practices: The Role of Private Sector Coalition in Siak Green Policy

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Rismansya Danasaputra Represents FP2SB at ISPO Workshop in Siak. Photo by : Palmoilmagazine.com

PALMOILMAGAZINE, SIAK – Siak District being an area that is the mainstay of the plantation sector, private entities play an important role in driving sustainable economic growth. One noteworthy effort was the formation of the Private Sector Coalition for Green Siak (KPSSH) in September 2019. The coalition aims to improve coordination and integrate work programs across the district, in line with the Green Siak initiative.

The palm oil industry has grown rapidly in Siak District. However, achieving sustainability in palm oil production remains a major challenge. Data from the Siak District Agriculture Office shows that oil palm plantations cover approximately 328,872.68 hectares in the region, with companies cultivating 120,797.68 hectares and smallholders covering 208,075 hectares.

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Despite its size, only 14 percent of the oil palm plantations in the district, totaling about 48,840.07 hectares, are Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certified. The district has set a target for all oil palm plantations in its area to obtain ISPO certification by 2025.

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In this context the big companies, such as, Wilmar, played significant roles. Wilmar adopted NDPE (No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation) policy as part of its commitment to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles, as same as the vision in Siak Hijau.

Wilmar actively involves to empower smallholders in the regency by focusing to escalate their capacity, develop good agricultural practices and get ISPO certification process.

Since it involved in the program, Wilmar successfully got partnership with independent smallholders’ unions in Regency of Siak, empowered thousand smallholders, helped some to get ISPO certificate.

“Since actively involving in independent smallholders’ empowerment, Wilmar gets partnership, develops five independent smallholders’ unions in Regency of Siak with the members about 1.500 men,” Sustainability Head Wilmar, Pujuh Kurniawan as in the official statement to Palmoilmagazine.com, Saturday (23/3/2024).

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Pujuh also mentioned, of the total developed smallholders, two unions got ISPO certificate in 2019, 2 are in process to accomplish ISPO certificate by the early of 2024, and the last one is in process to prepare ISPO certification process. The program runs with other related stakeholders in the regency, such as, PT. Permodalan Siak (PERSI), plantation agency, and others.

Besides in Siak, Wilmar does the same program in other provinces, such as, Jambi, North Sumatera, and West Kalimantan. Of the whole program, Wilmar does partnership and development to 14 independent smallholders’ groups with the total members about 5.760 men and the plantations about 12.584 hectares. In a whole, nine of the groups got ISPO certificate and the plantations laid about 8.992 hectares and involved 3.707 independent smallholders.

The success of Wilmar in partnership development with independent smallholders heading to sustainable agricultural practices delivered good samples for private sectors to develop sustainable development.

Then, to reach out the goals of Siak Hijau, KPSSH and Secretariat of Siak Hijau took other stakeholders to actively contribute. Through the workshop and other activities, they would escalate the understanding that sustainable palm oil industries and getting ISPO certificates are important. The collaboration among the government, private, and the people would be the key to realize green and sustainable landscape in Siak.

The workshop was managed by EcoNusantara in cooperation with KPSSH and supported by Wilmar. It was joined by the parties involved in Siak Hijau implementation – particularly who develop sustainable palm oil. The speakers were Prof. Sudarsono from Institut Pertanian Bogor that delivered materials about sustainable people’s economy; Dr. Rismansyah from Forum Pengembangan Perkebunan Strategis Berkelanjutan (FP2SB) that discussed about ISPO certification process for independent smallholders, from PT PERSI and independent smallholders’ union that is in partnership with Wilmar. They shared their experiences to get ISPO certificate. (T2)

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