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Asian Agri signed a pledge in New York, along with Wilmar, Golden Agri Resources, Cargill and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), to commit to responsible and sustainable palm oil production. The pledge signing took place at the “Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil” meeting during the United Nations Climate Summit 2014 in New York and was witnessed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
The pledge’s signatories agreed to adopt and promote sustainable palm oil production practices, as well as improve smallholder productivity and community participation in palm oil production. Palm oil is one of Indonesia’s primary export commodities and one that touches a broad spectrum of life’s activities.
The World Wide Fund for Nature said the signing marked a serious commitment. “Amidst the grim pictures in the market of how oil palm development has been impacting forests and people, WWF believes that the commitments presented today by the top palm oil leaders of industry and Kadin sheds light to the global market that Indonesia is seriously making step-wise journey towards sustainability in the ways palm oil is produced,” said Efransjah, the chief executive of WWF Indonesia.
Mr. Joseph Oetomo, Chairman of Asian Agri : “This is a significant collaborative effort amongst the leading palm oil companies. Asian Agri has always supported and practised responsible and sustainable palm oil production. This collective commitment towards the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge will take us to another level of our sustainability journey, and ultimately optimise benefits for the environment, people and economy. We register our appreciation to KADIN for initiating and leading this effort. ”
Asian Agri, as part of the Sukanto Tanoto-owned RGE, has partnered 29,000 Sumatran smallholder farmers to help them establish and better manage their plantation operations for over 25 years. This includes assisting them to obtain sustainable palm oil certifications so that their produce will be accepted in the international markets, thereby helping these farmers to raise their standard of living significantly and provide previously undreamed-of opportunities for themselves and their families.
About Asian Agri
Asian Agri is an Indonesian-based, world-class palm oil company that manages the archipelago’s abundant natural resources. It was established in 1979.
Asian Agri was one of the pioneers in the Indonesian government’s trans-migration scheme in Riau and Jambi. The scheme involved the migration of Indonesians from densely populated areas of Indonesia, such as Java, to less populous areas of the country with the objective of reducing poverty. Under the scheme, migrants were given land. In partnership with companies like Asian Agri which provided training in palm oil cultivation, seedlings, financing and community services, these migrants became successful smallholders, supplying their palm oil produce to Asian Agri at fair trade prices in line with government policy.