Our commitmentsAs a company, to be considered sustainable, we commit to complying with all laws and regulations like zero burning; to be transparent and economically and financially viable for the long term. We try to use best practices in all our operations, and to care for the environment in and around our plantations. We endeavor to care for the health, safety and welfare of our employees and the people and communities who live around our plantations. We commit to conducting rigorous Social and Environmental Impact Assessments and High Conservation Value assessments for all of our existing plantations and prior to commencing any new planting. and to use the results to monitor and improve our operations. We further commit to High Carbon Stock studies for all new planting and will not develop on land identified as an HCS area. In early 2016 we have completed our first HCS study. We will strive to continuously improve ourselves in all these areas. We would like to reach the highest recognized standard, which is currently RSPO certification. We are a member of RSPO and aim to get our first certification during 2016.
The Oil Palm is an amazing example of sustainability in nature. The tree can produce fruit with a high yield of oil for decades. The fruit provides two versatile oils, palm & kernel, of which Palm oil is half saturated, half unsaturated & can be used in a wide range of ways. The oils provide essential fatty acids & large amounts of vitamins; A & a rare form of E. The fruit also provides meal for animal feeds, while fiber & shell are used as fuel for energy. The two waste products, empty fruit bunches & mill effluent are recycled as organic fertilizers, reducing use of non organic fertilizers.
Financial growth & transparency
We are a listed company, regulated by the stock exchange & financial authority OJK. We are committed to providing a long term economic & financial gain for our 8,000 individual shareholders. We provide transparency through quarterly financial statements, monthly production updates, public & private meetings with investors & the financial press. We have an open invitation to take any visitors to see our plantations. Our commitment to achieve sustainability certification will help ensure our long term future by gaining the support of our customers who would like to ensure the Palm oil they use is certified sustainable Palm oil.
While we have many employees who earn minimum wage, we also try to increase productivity & pay based on incentive schemes to enable employees to earn far above the minimum wage. An example is our use of technology. In various areas of our plantations we use machines for harvesting, collecting fruit, delivering fruit to the mill for processing, the mill itself and to help load up our customers barges when they collect their oil. All of these make tasks physically easier, so that more can be done and more earned per worker. It is also a way to run our operations in the most effective way to ensure the oil we provide our customers is processed as quickly as possible so it is of the highest quality
To reduce pesticide which can erode natural nutrient levels in the soil & damage health & the environment, we use natural methods of pest control. Instead of poison, a barn owl program controls rats, which eat the fruit, reducing yield. We cultivate & plant special flowers, the local 'eight o'clock flower' / “tunera subulata” & 'tears of the bride'/”antigonen leptopus” which attract specific insects for their pollen & these kill nettle caterpillars which feed on & damage the palm tree leaves crucial for photosynthesis & fruit growth. Using gall flies to infest ting weeds to stunt their growth is another approach in minimizing chemical usage.
Care for employees & community
We provide housing, electricity & water for employees. We build schools with school buses for children of employees & the community. We build churches & mosques. Medical clinics are staffed with paramedics, nurses, midwives & doctors. We provide basic training, a management trainee program & the opportunity to build a career path. We provide a plasma scheme for local farmer cooperatives, funding to help build their plantations, management skills to help run the plantations, & employment in the years before their plantations turn profitable. In cases where the plantations have already started to pay dividends, we see the positive impact in better housing, lower unemployment & rising incomes.
Continuous improvement is the basis for our determination to move towards certification because it will help us find new ways to improve & enhance the environment in our plantations, relationships with local communities, the trust of our customers, & the enthusiasm, innovation & rewards for our employees. To show this determination, we are shifting focus from the strong growth of our planted area in recent years to slower planting & we have halted land clearing. We will continue this policy in 2016 until the requirements for certification are met. We hope later we can go above & beyond the requirement of certification too.
We know we have a long way to go and much work to do, but we are committed to increased openness in our efforts to achieve certification and we invite you to join us on our journey. Please come back regularly to our website for updates on our progress.