The Indonesian firm, listed on the Singapore stock exchange, is now working to achieve 100 percent traceability to plantation for the remaining 427 independent mills by 2020.
The completion of the first phase of GAR’s plan involved tracing fresh fruit bunches purchased from independent traders and smallholders as well as GAR’s own estates and plasma smallholders.
“After we achieved 100 percent Traceability to the Mill in 2015, we embarked on what is possibly the industry’s most ambitious undertaking – to trace more than seven million tonnes of palm oil through 471 mills all the way to the point of origin at the grower’s plantation. Through this journey, we are making strong headway in engaging thousands of farmers and independent suppliers, and with the support of our partners we are set to achieve our 2020 ambition,” said Franky Oesman Widjaja, chairman and CEO of GAR.
GAR is working with a network of partners to support independent suppliers to establish tracing and verification processes.
One is Geotraceability, which utilises its software to increase traceability. GAR and GeoT say they have developed an inclusive approach to improve supply chain transparency, which allows all suppliers to join regardless of their current level of supplier knowledge.
Meanwhile, Koltiva is helping verify sustainably sourced commodities from independent smallholders with web and mobile applications. To date, Koltiva agents have registered 16 palm oil agents (collectors/traders), mapped and verified 9,015 hectares of plantation owned or managed by 4,168 farmers and giving them information to help improve their production, farming practices and livelihood, and support their access to international supply chain markets.
GAR said it also recognises the critical role customers can play in driving the positive transformation of the palm oil industry.
In March 2017, GAR and Neste partnered on a project to identify, map and profile up to 3,000 smallholders spread between 14 villages in Siak, the largest oil palm producing district in Riau, a province where independent smallholders manage up to 25 percent of total planted area.
Upon completion, the companies will also work with smallholders to address vulnerabilities that emerge from their assessments.