KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — Sime Darby Plantation Bhd (SDP) will procure certified sustainable fresh fruit bunches (FFB) from a group of independent small producers in Carey Island, Selangor for two years.
The small producers, including some farmers from the Mah Meri tribe who reside on the island, are represented by Intan Hebat Baru Sdn Bhd and they are certified under a sustainable palm oil scheme organised by social enterprise Wild Asia Sdn Bhd.
This scheme, known as the Wild Asia Group Scheme (WAGS), is a management system founded in 2013 to provide technical and management support for smallholders to have their products independently certified.
It also helps to improve the farming practices of smallholders and support them with meeting compulsory sustainability standards, in compliance with those set by the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil as well as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil voluntary certification scheme so that they can participate in the global sustainable palm oil value chain.
“Smallholders are a critical part of the global palm oil production, accounting for about 40 per cent of the world’s supply.
“As such, initiatives that can help to increase their participation in sustainable supply chains should be supported by bigger players in the industry with the right credentials,” SDP chief sustainability officer Rashyid Redza Anwarudin said in a statement.
Small producers are classified as smallholders with a total farm area of fewer than 40 hectares (ha) while small growers are those with a total farm area of more than 41ha and less than 500ha.
Under a tripartite agreement, all three parties also commit to jointly ensure the traceability of palm oil produced by independent small producers.
By procuring FFB from WAGS-certified small producers at an agreed premium, SDP will be supporting and promoting their inclusion into its sustainable supply chain, whilst Intan Hebat will in turn ensure clear traceability of the FFB from farm to SDP mills. — Bernama