LDF supports Indonesian palm farmers to achieve first-ever certification under new RSPO standard for smallholders
As part of our project on sustainable production of palm oil in South Sumatra, Indonesia, run in partnership with Dutch non-profit SNV and support of Louis Dreyfus Company, Louis Dreyfus Foundation (LDF) is supporting small scale palm producers in improving their livelihoods and incomes to avoid exclusion from supply chains by adopting more sustainable agricultural practices.
As a result of this project, we are pleased and proud to report that a group of 30 independent smallholder farmers - together managing a total of 130 hectares of oil palm in South Sumatra - has become the first farming cooperative in the world to be certified under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil's (RSPO) recently adopted Independent Smallholder (ISH) Standard.
Having recently completed - in compliance with applicable Covid-19 safety measures - the audit for this cooperative, the RSPO awarded ISH certification under the 'Eligibility' phase, which enables the group of farmers to generate RSPO ISH Credits - traded via the RSPO PalmTrace platform – corresponding to 40% of their production volume of fresh fruit bunches.
Indonesian smallholders play a vital role in the production of oil palm as a global commodity crop, accounting for 40% of the world's palm plantations by area. Due to low yields and lack of financial means, they are often unable to comply with sustainable agricultural practices and meet the complex requirements of certification, being at threat of exclusion from the supply chains of companies committed to sourcing certified products.
Since 2019, our project has aimed to train Indonesian farmers on certification and good agricultural practices (GAPs) relating to palm oil grading, harvesting and transport, maintenance, plantation assessment, responsible use of fertilizers, and pest and disease management.
We are proud to have helped this cooperative on their journey to certification - a journey we hope other smallholders will be encouraged to undertake.
To further disseminate knowledge on sustainable production practices, we are planning to provide trainings to 1,000 new small scale palm farmers in the course of 2020-2021 in South Sumatra.