Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil - a staple agricultural commodity found in about half of all packaged products sold in supermarkets. The country produces more than 30 million tons of palm oil per year generating 4.5% of its GDP and giving employment to 3 million people. With steady double-digit growth rates, the sector has become vital to the country´s economy. But unsustainable palm oil production is also contributing to rapid tropical forest destruction and climate change.

Boosting farmers’ competitiveness by exposing them to good agriculture practices as well as addressing gaps in policies is key to the sustainability of the palm oil sector. Since 2012, the Green Commodities Programme has supported the national Government to set-up the Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil Platform (FoKSBI), which was officially launched in 2014. more

Smallholders produce 40% of the country´s palm oil. Most run farms less than 25 hectares in size on average and on razor-thin margins.more

The Ministry of Agriculture leads this unprecedented multi-stakeholder dialogue mechanism set-up to address key areas of action such as: 

- Supporting small-scale farmers

- Environment management and monitoring 

- Governance and mediation 

- Certification through the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil System (ISPO) and market access.


Aligning and Piloting Certification Schemes

Another important area of work for GCP is to increase alignment between the national ISPO certification scheme and the international voluntary scheme RSPO. As a first step to develop synergies, GCP supported a joint ISPO-RSPO study to identify the similarities and differences between the two schemes. The findings recommend ways for ISPO and RSPO to become strategic partners.

To date, only 10% of plantations are certified under ISPO but this certification will ultimately be mandatory for all palm oil producers in Indonesia. In collaboration with palm oil company, Asian-Agri, we are piloting a scheme in Riau province designed to test approaches to ISPO certification with small-scale farmers, with the objective of sharing these lessons so that smallholders across the country can be certified.

Meeting the legal requirements will also enable them to access greater support, including training to improve farming practices, with benefits for their income and the environment.

In-Country Team

Tri Widjayanti, Indonesia Palm Oil Platform Coordinator:

Adinda Silitonga, Communications Officer:

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