Unilever, PTPN Agree to Accelerate Sustainable Palm Oil Production in Indonesia

JANUARY 31, 2018

Jakarta. Consumer goods giant Unilever and state-owned palm oil plantation Perkebunan Nusantara, or PTPN, have signed an agreement with palm oil factories and farmers in Indonesia to accelerate sustainable palm oil production under the principle of "no deforestation, no peat and no exploitation."

As part of the agreement, PTPN will be providing Unilever access to their factories and workforce.

Unilever meanwhile will provide training, funding and technical guidance to farmers and factory workers to help them obtain certification to make sustainable palm oil.

Unilever’s support aims to ensure that PTPN farmers have a better position within the palm oil industry and can improve their skills in producing environmentally friendly palm oil.

"Our MoU with PTPN is the first time we’ve implemented a produce-protect model on a larger scale. We believe this partnership will have a positive impact on Indonesia’s society, economy and environment. That’s what makes this partnership special," Marc Engel, Unilever’s chief supply chain officer, said on Wednesday (31/01).

PTPN is a state-owned company and a major player in Indonesia's palm oil industry. The company works with a wide network of small farmers and the MoU with Unilever will provide an important step for these farmers in learning to implement more sustainable farming and business practices.

"As parent company, PTPN III controls over 61 percent of their plantation fields for palm oil, distributed among 10 subsidiary companies — with a few of them having already secured RSPO and ISPO certifications. We’re committed in continuing to produce sustainable palm oil," Erwan Pelawi, PTPN III's managing director of operations, said.

"Having proper certificates is a top priority for us, we hope this partnership can improve our plasma palm oil productions, help independent palm oil farmers and streamline the sustainable palm oil certification process — so we can further improve the lives of Indonesian palm oil farmers," Erwan said.