AAK, Nestlé, and Musim Mas announced a partnership to address deforestation outside of plantation concession areas in Aceh, Indonesia. Aceh is a priority landscape as 87% of the Leuser Ecosystem lies within the province.
AAK and Nestlé have pledged to fund the first two years of the five-year program, reaching out to approximately 1,000 oil palm independent smallholders within two years and enrolling them in Musim Mas’ smallholders program supported by a Smallholders Hub. The Smallholders Hub will provide advanced training to village extension officers on good agricultural practices and NDPE (No Deforestation, No Peat, and No Exploitation). The officers will then train and upskill oil palm smallholders in their assigned areas. Musim Mas will be training 40 officers. This will be Musim Mas’ third Smallholders Hub in Aceh province, in line with their Aceh strategy.
Smallholders will receive training in good agricultural practices, business management, and NDPE (No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation). The program will help smallholders increase yields and earnings from their existing farmland, and reduce the risk of encroachment into protected areas. As the majority of deforestation in Aceh occurs outside plantation concession areas, such programs are vital.
“We are glad that downstream actors AAK and Nestlé share our vision to transform the Aceh landscape and work together with actors on the ground. Integrating smallholders into sustainable supply chains is an industry effort,” said Olivier Tichit, Musim Mas Director of Sustainable Supply Chain. “Our partnership in Aceh is crucial to expanding our reach to the independent smallholders and protecting rainforests.”
“Nestlé is committed to achieve a deforestation-free palm oil supply chain by 2022. Making the industry truly sustainable, however, will require us collectively moving towards a Forest Positive strategy where agricultural production and forest protection exist in harmony. Supporting smallholders is a key element of this strategy. We will continue to conserve and restore forests and natural ecosystems while promoting sustainable livelihoods and respecting human rights,” said Emily Kunen, Global Climate Delivery Leader, Forests at Nestlé.
“Engaging with our suppliers in the most sensitive landscapes and focusing on deforestation outside concessions is crucial. We believe that this partnership program can significantly contribute to the protection and preservation of this important landscape and have a positive impact on the livelihoods of the smallholders involved,” said Caroline Westerik-Sikking, Global Manager Sustainable Oils at AAK.