Palm oil production has experienced significant growth over the last decade and has become an extremely important export for Indonesia. The rapid success of the industry has brought about environmental, human rights and labor challenges that the industry, including Tunas Sawa Erma Group (PT Tunas Sawaerma, PT Berkat Cipta Abadi and PT Dongin Prabhawa) has worked hard to address and continue to take very seriously. Tunas Sawaerma Group’s palm oil operations are committed to operating in a sustainable manner and we not only comply with all Indonesian laws and regulations regarding palm oil production, but also follow industry best practices on sustainable development.
As a developer and harvester of local resources and consistent with Tunas Sawa Erma Group values, we do realize that we have a responsibility to operate these businesses with the highest level of integrity. As such, our palm oil production operates under the following principles:
- Only utilizing land for palm oil that has been zoned for development by the Indonesian government. (As is also the case with our plywood and timber operations).
- Continuing a zero burning policy.
- Operating our palm oil division consistent with the guidelines of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
- Offering only Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certified palm oil endorsed by the Indonesian Minister of Agriculture.
- Committing not to develop on peat land.
- Protecting human rights for all employees, including temporary workers. Sample rights include freedom of association and the right to collectively bargain.
- Providing significant financial concessions to local communities, as well as funding local healthcare and education.
- Employing a significant number of local residents.
As part of our commitment to operating sustainably and not developing on high conservation value land, Tunas Sawa Erma Group recently undertook HCV (High Conservation Value) and HCS (High carbon stock) self-assessments across its palm oil land concessions. The field assessments were carried out over a period of months by independent third party assessors approved by responsible global bodies. The next step is for these self-assessments to be peer reviewed and also reviewed by these global bodies. Tunas Sawaerma Group has conducted similar assessments in the past as part of its involvement with the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) process, but the review by this global body is new for our company. We announced the end of our moratorium after our self-assessment results were published in our website and also promised to faithfully follow HCV and HCS quality review process. However, based on concerns expressed by some stakeholders that the assessments have not yet gone through all reviews, we have reinstated the temporary moratorium on new development.
What Tunas Sawa Erma Group can state, is that our HCV and HCS assessments will follow the appropriate review processes and will be published once all reviews have been completed. More importantly, once land has been designated as HCV and HCS land, we will undertake a series of steps to ensure that the land is not developed on, including through the use of physical sign posts. PT. Tunas Sawaerma and its affiliates remain committed to operating in a sustainable manner, including our palm oil operations. We will not only continue to comply with all Indonesian laws and regulations regarding palm oil production, but also continue to implement best practices on sustainable development.
(21 February 2017)