Partnership – cornerstone to achieving goals
When palm oil is responsibly farmed, it is an effective way to create jobs and alleviate poverty, and provides opportunities for communities to secure better livelihoods. As one of the largest plantation companies in Indonesia, operating largely in rural and remote areas, Golden-Agri Resources (GAR) plays an active role in the well-being of our employees, and in the wider communities and landscapes where we operate.
However, finding the best way to operate sustainably often requires new, innovative solutions. GAR recognises that this is only possible through working collaboratively with relevant experts and key stakeholders.
GAR implements projects in the following areas:
Health, labour, and welfare
The interactive map below shows our community outreach projects across Indonesia. Click on the icons for more information.
Belitung (2 Villages)
Project with 3 villages:
Vegetables, organic pepper,and fish crackers
Projects with 15 villages:
Paddy rice, coffee, honey, vegetables, pigs, roselle syrup and freshwater fish in Sungai Rungau
Riau (15 Villages)
Enterprise projects with 15 villages:
Red ginger, freshwater fish, goat, Vegetables, banana & tempe, and paddy rice in Siak District
Banana & Tempe
Projects with 3 villages:
Paddy rice, vegetables, medicinal plants & herbs
Plants & Herbs
Projects with 24 villages:
Paddy rice, Moringa, honey, vegetables freshwater fish, pigs, goat, eggs and chicken in Kapuas Hulu
Strong partnerships between governments, the private sector, and civil society are required to achieve sustainable development. Many of our projects involve collaboration with partners. These partnerships allow GAR to harness the right expertise and resources to effectively execute, scale and sustain these projects. The partnership models are tailored to the needs of each project.
GAR, together with L’Oreal (2017-2020), Nestle (2021 onwards), and the support of the South Pole Group, are rehabilitating and conserving more than 2,000 hectares of degraded peatlands in GAR’s subsidiary, PT Agro Lestari Mandiri (PT AMNL), in West Kalimantan.
The project covers hydrological management and ecological restoration of peatland within the surrounding villages. Along with rehabilitating 2,000 hectares of peatland, 600 hectares are allocated for sustainable livelihood programmes for nine villages around the concession. The livelihood programmes help villagers grow their own and more varied food. Villagers then sell excess crops in local markets to generate additional income. Read the entire case study here.
South Pole Group
GAR aims to build rural resilience. We help villages ensure food security while preserving their environment. The Forest Village Conservation project in Gunung Mas and Seruyan Districts includes the development and improvement of organic farming and coffee cultivation.
We assist village heads with developing a conservation plan, which aims to tap ecosystem services from protected areas. Coka Coffee (a coffee buyer, processor and trader) was brought in to develop the SESAMA programme where farmers are trained on Sustainable Agricultural Practices (SAP) for coffee cultivation and taught to prepare land for cultivation without using fire.
To date, four villages (two villages in Gunung Mas District and two villages in Seruyan District) have received technical and financial assistance from GAR and our partner, Wageningen University (WUR) to develop more areas for organic farming and coffee.
In 2014, GAR subsidiary, PT Kartika Prima Cipta (PT KPC), collaborated with the Dian Desa Foundation to help surrounding communities cultivate moringa plants, process, and market the end-products. By 2019, those communities planted more than 23,000 seedlings and are producing moringa products such as leaf powder, branch powder, seed powder, and seed skin powder to sell.
This is part of our Bright Future Initiative, which also includes piloting organic farming plots and other activities to expand and diversify income sources of communities.
Dian Desa Foundation
GAR, ADM Cares, and Tzu Chi Foundation are partnering on two projects to empower rural communities in Riau Province, Indonesia. The first project will improve childcare facilities (Balai Penitipan Anak/BPA) for women in rural communities. The second project will establish community learning centres (CLC) which serve as hubs for learning and community engagement. Both projects aim to improve income and food security for these communities.
The BPA project aims to improve 35 existing childcare centres, train 60 caregivers, and upgrade the facilities. The longer-term goal is to open the childcare centres to the broader community, not just GAR employees.
The CLC project in Riau will focus on developing a pilot model for integrated ecological farming, the production of commercial organic fertilisers and horticultural crops, as well as integrated cattle management. The project will identify suitable locations for the centres, form twelve community groups, provide training on sustainable agriculture, and promote local products developed by the community enterprises.
Tzu Chi Foundation
GAR is working with Neste, one of our largest customers, to boost independent smallholder sustainability. We are collaborating with Neste to bring about Smallholder Group Certification for the supply of certified palm oil. The project is based in Indonesia and focuses on a group of farmers in the Siak District in the Riau province. We aim to help independent farmers adopt sustainable practices and gain wider market access. This is aligned with GAR’s and Neste’s sustainability policies.
GAR, Nestlé, and the Earthworm Foundation are working together to support smallholders in Langga Payung, Sumatra. We mapped smallholder estates and trained three villages in Participatory Land Use Mapping techniques to build capacity for the communities.
We also conducted training on the use of locally available materials to make organic fertiliser and best agricultural techniques to improve yields and soil health. Farmers were empowered to share their knowledge with other community members too.
We established a sample plot for horticulture projects to help promote livelihood diversification and food security. New crops include sweet corn, tomatoes, red beans, peanuts, onions, and rice.
Learn more about the Smallholder Rurality Project
The programme assists independent smallholders in Riau and Sumatra in their journey towards sustainability. GAR deploys our expertise in sustainable agricultural practices to train the farmers and convince them of the long-term benefits of such practices.
Our technology partner, Koltiva, develops the technology platforms and, through their field teams, help to train mill staff, agents, and farmers to use the system. The project also moves GAR and our business partners towards traceability to the supplying plantation.
GAR is currently supported by Mars and Fuji Oil in this programme and, as of the end of 2021, has reached out to 1,505 (of 4,000) targeted smallholders, 45 agents, and nine independent mills.
The programme will continue into 2022 and 2023 and, in some environmentally vulnerable areas, will include a deforestation monitoring programme.
To learn about our initiative, you can read here.
GAR, in collaboration with Nestlé, the Danish Institute of Human Rights ,and the Earthworm Foundation, conducted a labour assessment of four mills supplying one of GAR’s refineries, PT SMART Tbk Belawan.
The project assessed the current conditions and implementation of labour regulations within five Nestle-GAR suppliers located across Sumatra, Riau, and Kalimantan.
We mapped and identified independent farmers and their sources of alternative incomes, and we are now helping them look for partners to scale their farming.
Danish Institute of Human Rights
The Decent Rural Living Initiative (DRLI) launched in 2017. GAR, along with Wilmar, Sime Darby, Cargill, and Musim Mas, is exploring collaborative ways to address human rights and labour related issues within the palm oil industry in Indonesia.
Four potential areas for collaboration were identified:
- Developing a rights awareness platform, with a focus on occupational health and safety
- Increasing telecommunications connectivity in rural locations
- Spearheading a social dialogue process with unions and workers across South Sumatra in support of a Collective Bargaining Agreement
- Improving family well-being on concession lands
These collaborative solutions create impact in three ways:
- Sharing data within the group to implement solutions on a bigger scale and learning from good practices of participating growers.
- Providing tools to understand and measure long-term impact for existing projects.
- Each component serves to complement the others and collectively contribute to support to Decent Rural Living in a tangible and systemic way.
Supported by Nestle and Winrock International (Winrock), GAR is carrying out a range of activities aimed at enhancing suppliers’ compliance with human rights standards.
Partnering with the Accountability Framework Initiative (AFI), Verite Southeast Asia and the International Labour Organisation, we are raising awareness on human rights in palm oil for suppliers, empowering representatives from supplier companies as Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) experts and exploring how collective bargaining and social dialogues can be used to maintain harmonious workplaces and successful collaborations. An engaging toolkit in the form of an animation video was developed to facilitate this work.
Additionally, we joined forces with Verité Southeast Asia to assess labour and human rights in Nestlé’s supply chain. GAR also revised our supplier self-assessment form to better assist suppliers in meeting sustainability standards.
These are just some of the projects where you can immediately help to positively impact lives with your contribution. If you would like to support any of the projects or co-sponsor projects, please email [email protected]
GAR is a member of AVPN, an ecosystem builder for the social investment sector. AVPN’s mission is to ensure that resources are deployed effectively to address key social challenges facing Asia today and in the future.
GAR is working with AVPN to explore impact investments and partnerships with the aim of scaling our current sustainability and CSR projects.
Food Industry Asia (FIA)
As an ingredient producer and food manufacturer, GAR is a part of FIA, a collective of leading food and beverage companies. It seeks to enhance the industry’s role as a trusted partner in the development of science-based policy in the region.
Global Agribusiness Alliance (GAA)
GAA is an international, private sector alliance committed to harnessing the collective strengths of the global agri-business sector to tackle environmental, social, and sustainability challenges to improve the resilience of farmers across the world.
High Conservation Value Resource Network (HCVRN)
The HCVRN is a member-based organisation that strives to protect High Conservation Values in areas where the expansion of forestry and agriculture may put important forests, biodiversity and local communities at risk. It is formed by organisations
that use and promote the HCV Approach.
GAR is part of its management committee that oversees the continued development of standards and workings of the organisation.
PISAgro aims to promote public-private partnership as a cost-effective way of delivering multiple benefits for wider society in Indonesia. PISAgro has 10 working groups that include palm oil, horticulture, and soybeans. GAR is part of the PISAgro working groups to support agricultural output.
Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA)
GAR is an active member of the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA), a global public-private partnership. Members take voluntary actions, individually and in combination, to reduce the tropical deforestation associated with the sourcing of commodities such as palm oil, soy, beef, and paper and pulp.