5 – 6 December 2018: Apical’s Sustainability team hosted its tri-annual Shared Value Programme (SVP) in Harris Vertu Hotel, Harmoni, Jakarta. The two-day workshop was organised jointly with Apical’s sustainability partners CORE (Proforest & Daemeter Consulting) and participated by 50 suppliers of Apical from around Indonesia.
The goal of the SVP is to engage with Apical’s suppliers and build capacity by offering practical experience and industry knowledge on local and regional issues concerning sustainable palm oil production. This particular session covered current palm oil market trends and updates to the RSPO’s Principles & Criteria (P&C) 2018 and its implications to palm oil producers.
Day 1 kicked-off with an opening address by Apical’s Sustainability Manager, Tay Wai Chian who welcomed suppliers and thanked them for travelling across the country for the event. A preview of Apical’s sustainability journey was then presented through a newly-produced video clip.
This was followed by a session on ‘Environmental Management & Monitoring’ with a panel of experts from Apical’s suppliers, Asian Agri and Astra Agro Lestari (AAL). The Senior VP of Sustainability for AAL, Dr Bandung Sahari and Asian Agri’s Sustainability Manager, Putu Grhyate Yonata Aksa shared expert advice that would benefit suppliers on their own sustainability journey if applied well.
Following a Q&A session and lunch break, the agenda resumed with the official debut of Apical’s Responsible Sourcing Manual (RSM) for mills. The manual was developed by Apical along with Proforest, a global leader in providing support for sustainable management, to provide suppliers with a practical guide to implement their sustainability commitments. The RSM session introduced the manual and its key messages including Traceability, No Deforestation and No Peat commitments and Engaging with Communities to suppliers. The topics were then referenced for the lively focus group discussion and presentation by groups of participants that ensued after.
Day 2 opened with a session on ‘What’s New in the RSPO P&C 2018?’by Salahudin Yaacob, Assurance Director of the RSPO and Tiur Rumondang, RSPO Indonesia’s Director of Operations. This session allowed suppliers to have first-hand information on the new updates to the P&C following the recent 16th Annual Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT16).
The session was followed by ‘Smallholder Partnerships’, presented by Asian Agri’s Deputy Head of Smallholder Management, Rafmen and its Head of Sustainability, Bernard Alexander Riedo respectively, who talked about Asian Agri’s engagement activities and successes with smallholders. The session aimed to signify the importance of supplier engagement with smallholders and offered suggestions on methods of conducting them.
The atmosphere during the two days reached a climax just before the much anticipated session entitled ‘Traceability to Plantation – A Buyer’s Perspective’ which consisted of a panel of experts from global consumer brands such as Unilever, KAO and Neste. Palm oil suppliers had the rare opportunity to engage and interact with these brands who expressed the importance of having traceability to plantation in today’s global business.
The panel consisted of Masui Nobuhiko, Head of Procurement, Raw Materials & Commodities for KAO Corporation who flew in from Japan for this event, Dr Achmad Adhitya, Unilever Indonesia’s Sustainability Sourcing Manager and Michael Chong, Neste Singapore’s Sustainability Manager.
The thought-provoking session was facilitated by representatives from Proforest and Daemeter and commenced with a highly engaging and multi-faceted discussion.
Later, the eventful Day 2 had participants observe and gain learnings from Traceability Case Studies by Apical and Asian Agri which addressed achieving traceability to plantation and how traceability helps with managing supply chain risks.
Apical’s Director of Sustainability, Bremen Yong gave the event’s closing remarks before the SVP workshop closed on a high note. Many participants shared how they were enlightened and further educated on how to push forth along their sustainability journey. Participants thanked Apical and CORE for hosting and facilitating the eye-opening event.