Unilever and Indonesian government-owned palm oil plantation company PT Perkebunan Nusantara (PTPN) have signed an agreement to accelerate the production of sustainable palm oil in the country.
The companies said that the partnership will help Indonesian farmers increase yields and improve their livelihoods.
As part of the collaboration, PTPN will provide Unilever access to its mills and its supplying farmer base. Unilever will support the mills and farmers to obtain sustainability certification through a combination of resources, funding and technical expertise.
Unilever said this will ensure smallholder farmers are better positioned to enter the palm oil supply chain as “they will be able to increase their productivity while producing palm oil to the right standards to protect people and planet”.
Unilever chief supply chain officer Marc Engel said: “Unilever’s ambition is to make sustainable palm oil mainstream. We have been working really hard to make this a reality and we have been evolving our approach over the years. We are involved in various partnerships to help smallholder farmers improve their yields while protecting the environment and local communities.
“The memorandum of understanding with PTPN is the first time we can apply the produce-protect model at scale – our partnership will have a positive impact in Indonesia from an environmental, social and economic perspective, which makes it unique to the industry.”
Erwan Pelawi, operating manager of PTPN III Holding Company, added: “Palm oil from smallholders also enters our supply chain through PTPN Group’s palm oil mills. Therefore, being able to source from certified smallholder farmers gives us the ability to produce quality and sustainable palm oil products.
“The memorandum of understanding with Unilever is expected to improve the quality of how smallholder farmers manage palm oil cultivation and will also accelerate the process of sustainable palm oil certification, which will in turn provide better benefits for the welfare of oil palm farmers in Indonesia.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019