Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), the second largest global palm oil producer, has committed to 100 per cent traceability to mill by the end of 2015.
The Indonesian-based producer has also promised to broaden the benefits of sustainable palm oil through greater involvement of smallholders and better relations with local communities.
In particular, it has launched a Peat Ecosystem Rehabilitation Project in one of its concessions to help develop fire prevention measures and commit to the long-term protection of the area.
GAR hopes to help tackle the "complex causes of fire and haze", including "providing funded alternative livelihood programmes to local communities".
This comes as the Indonesian government is currently considering a moratorium on peatland development and ways to revitalise peat areas to tackle haze-causing fires, which are causing pollution across South East Asia.
“Indonesia needs solutions to the pressing issues of climate change, forest loss and fire,” said Agus Purnomo, managing director of sustainability and strategic stakeholder engagement at GAR.
“Through our social and environmental policy and our commitment to peat rehabilitation, GAR is demonstrating that economic development and environmental protection can go hand-in-hand. We will continue to call for and support change across Indonesia and the industry to achieve sustainable palm oil.”
The updated policy has led to a partnership with The Forest Trust on GAR’s upstream work. “We are pleased to see the progress GAR has made in the implementation of its sustainability policy across its upstream plantation operations,” said its director, Hilary Thompson. “We look forward to helping them realise their recommitment to being a leader in sustainable palm oil.”