Understanding our suppliers is a vital starting point in getting them to adopt better, more sustainable practices in their own businesses. An effective way to learn about them is through supplier site visits. These site visits enable us to build a complete picture of our suppliers’ current practices, and understand what help they need to address the gaps between their current practices and GAR’s Social and Environmental Policy (GSEP) requirements.
Since releasing our GSEP and Supplier Code of Conduct policies in 2015, our Supplier Assessment Team has been making site visits to our third party suppliers, and have covered around 27 percent of our third party suppliers as of December 2019. Through these visits, GAR is engaged in dialogue with hundreds of mills, plantations, agents and independent farmers to understand the problems in each part of the supply chain.
It is important to mention that these site visits are not audits with pass and fail results. Rather, they are meant to identify gaps in suppliers’ sustainability practices that can be fixed, with support from our Supply Chain team.
“Our observation is that suppliers are generally keen to adopt more sustainable practices, but are usually either not familiar with technical requirements (ie High Conservation Value (HCV), High Carbon Stock (HCS) approaches) or don’t know where to start. Site visits are an effective way to get them started, especially on topics such as waste management, labour, and traceability. At the end of the visit, we ensure they have an action plan and monitor their progress,” said Wahyu Wijayanti, Supplier Compliance Head, Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food.
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