20 July 2023Empowering smallholders: ISF, Hap Seng and Ferrero join forces in Smallholder Support Project
Intercontinental Specialty Fats Sdn. Bhd (ISF) is thrilled to announce an exciting collaboration with the palm oil producer, Hap Seng Plantations (River Estates) Sdn Bhd and Jeroco Plantations Sdn Bhd (referred to as HSP), and Ferrero in supporting oil palm smallholders to be RSPO certified and inclusive as part of their supply chain.
The ‘RSPO Smallholder Support Project’ is aimed at supporting oil palm smallholders in preparing for group certification under the RSPO certification standards and promoting the inclusion of these RSPO-certified smallholders within the sustainable palm oil supply chain. By joining forces, we firmly believe that we can create a substantial impact by ensuring that smallholder support is highly valued within the RSPO system and in the market.
Palm oil smallholders: Small in scale, significant in impact
At ISF, we recognize the vital role played by smallholders in the palm oil sector. They make an important contribution to the economic impact on rural development and poverty reduction, play roles in social cohesion and community empowerment, environmental stewardship, preservation of cultural heritage, and traditional knowledge. Their contribution to supply chain resilience should also not be neglected.
However, smallholders encounter various challenges in implementing sustainable agricultural practices due to factors such as limited resources, knowledge gaps, difficulties in accessing sustainable markets, socio-economic factors, complex supply chains, and environmental considerations.
We understand the certification process is difficult for smallholders as the costs involved in meeting the certification standards are relatively high. The legal requirements are complex, considering their lack of resources and cost-effective models for group certification.
By supporting smallholders through the program, we hope to improve their livelihoods, strengthen their communities, and promote responsible practices throughout the industry.
Transforming palm oil smallholders’ life through RSPO certification and inclusivity in supply
RSPO certification presents a transformative opportunity for palm oil smallholders, empowering them to uplift their lives and livelihoods. With participation in RSPO credit sales, they can generate additional income and gain access to the international market, enabling more sustainable growth and increased market opportunities. Obtaining the RSPO certified benchmark enables their recognition against global sustainability standards. These advantages not only bolster the economic prosperity of smallholders but also foster environmental preservation and enhance the social well-being of local communities.
ISF driving force of sustainability: smallholder inclusivity and supporting collaboration.
ISF is one of the leading palm specialty oils & fats manufacturers with refining and downstream processing facilities, and is committed to the sustainable production and responsible sourcing of palm oil in our supply chain. In line with our sustainability policy, we are committed to support the inclusion of smallholders into the supply chain through empowering the smallholder in RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certification.
We also recognise the importance of collaboration with our partners. Through this partnership, ISF will work closely with Hap Seng and Ferrero to supply invaluable resources, expertise, and guidance to smallholders, enabling them to achieve RSPO certification and continue to be self-sustaining in sustainable palm oil production.
The Memorandum of Agreement between the 3 parties has been made on 28 April 2023 which marked the commencement of funding 4 smallholders under one group certification of RSPO for a period of 3 years.
This project represents a major milestone for ISF as we embark on our first initiative to uplift smallholders and create a more inclusive supply chain together with our partners, Hap Seng, and Ferrero. We firmly believe that sustainability and inclusivity go hand in hand, and this collaboration exemplifies our core values.