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Helping smallholder farmers improve sustainability, productivity and livelihoods

Supporting smallholders in Malaysia, Brazil and Indonesia

June 20, 2019

Across our supply chain, Cargill provides support to smallholder farmers to help them adopt No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) practices and achieve compliance with Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) principles and criteria, resulting in higher yields, better access to markets, increased profitability and more reliable income streams.

Achieving RSPO certification in Malaysia

In Malaysia, Cargill works with Wild Asia, Tian Siang Air Kuning Palm Oil Mill and a fresh fruit bunches dealer in Air Kuning, Perak to help smallholders achieve RSPO certification under the Wild Asia Group Scheme for small producers. Through the program, smallholders are encouraged to avoid application of herbicides and use palm oil mill by-products, including empty fruit bunches, as natural fertilizer.

More than 260 farmers participate in the program, representing one third of all RSPO-certified independent smallholders in Malaysia. Cargill has been working with Wild Asia to promote RSPO-certified fresh fruit bunch production among independent smallholders near Air Kuning since 2013. This collaboration involves relationships with refiners, mills, fresh fruit bunch dealers and smallholders.

Improving livelihoods in Brazil

In the Brazilian state of Pará, Cargill is working with our palm oil supplier Biopalma, the Earthworm Foundation (formerly The Forest Trust) and others to support the Rurality project that is helping 675 smallholder farmers improve productivity, achieve NDPE compliance and a better quality of life.

The program includes: interviewing farmers to understand current practices and challenges; mapping plantations using GPS data to improve logistics for transporting farmers’ fresh fruit bunches; engaging with local stakeholders, such as government entities, NGOs, companies, trade unions and other groups; and developing action plans to help farmers improve yields and livelihoods. Learn more.

Supporting smallholders in Indonesia

Cargill’s full-time farmer development teams in West Kalimantan and South Sumatra are dedicated to engaging more than 21,000 affiliated Indonesian smallholders to help them achieve and maintain RSPO and International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) certification standards. With globally recognized certifications, farmers learn good agricultural practices resulting in yield and efficiency improvements. Farmers also gain access to markets that require palm oil to be sustainability-certified. The combination of expanded market access and improved yields provides farmers with better incomes for the long term.

Read about Cargill’s work with smallholder farmers in Guatemala and learn more about our smallholder programs.