KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Plantation is working with Malaysian-based social enterprise Wild Asia (WA) to assist small oil palm producers in the Lower Kinabatangan area in Sabah to be part of its sustainable palm oil value chain.
Under the partnership, Sime Darby Plantion will secure the supply of certified oil palm Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB) from small producers under the Wild Asia Group Scheme (WAGS) for its Sandakan palm oil mill.
In a statement on Thursday, the company said there are about 1,000 small producers in the Lower Kinabatangan area, of which 400 have been identified by WA.
This includes 115 which have achieved the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification for their operations.
The company added that they will work to assist the other small producers in the area to achieve RSPO certification, in order to ensure a more steady income for them.
“Small producers cultivate a significant percentage of the total oil palm areas in Malaysia.
“Helping them to be certified will boost the amount of CSPO in the market and hopefully improve their income.
“Sime Darby Plantation has already embarked on a full RSPO certification programme for our own estates and now we are going to work on traceability, zero deforestation and zero burning commitments for our third party suppliers such as these small producers,” said Sime Darby Plantation Managing Director Datuk Franki Anthony Dass.
Small producers in the lower Kinabatangan area are a group of independent oil palm growers, each with less than 500 hectares of planted areas.
They also include smallholders with even smaller plantation size of 50 hectares and below.