Over the last few months we’ve been blogging about GAR’s work with its suppliers to achieve a more resilient and sustainable supply chain. We’ve talked to suppliers, FFB brokers and small farmers to get their views about GAR’s outreach efforts to them. This week, we’re featuring some members of the team behind this crucial effort of bringing our suppliers with us on our sustainability journey.
The GAR Supplier Support Team consists of experts with many different skill sets. Their job is to help our suppliers address key challenges in adopting responsible social and environmental practices in line with the GAR Social and Environmental Policy (GSEP).
Aside from their daily work with suppliers, the team is also involved in organising supplier support events such as the SMART SEED workshop which is taking place at Santika Hotel, Medan on September 21. This is the second workshop they’ve held for suppliers this year and this event focuses on the role and importance of the national sustainability platform, the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO). Participating suppliers will have the opportunity to meet, discuss and consult with our support team directly as well as have their questions answered by experts from the government and NGOs. This is just one of the many efforts by the GAR Supplier Support Team to ensure that our suppliers get the right support every step of the way as they strive to become more sustainable.
Meet two of the Supplier Support Team members, Ibu Wahyu and Pak Yuda.
Wahyu Wigati Wijayanti
Environment Assurance Specialist
“We are here and we are ready to help our suppliers when they need it. We can share the best practice knowledge that we have from our past experience, as well as to guide them on regulations that they don’t understand. We are just an e-mail away.”
Ibu Wahyu has been working for over 16 years in Agribusiness and Forestry. She studied at the Forestry faculty at Universitas Gajah Mada and at Institut Pertanian, where she earned her Masters in Agribusiness Management.
In her role, she looks at the environmental compliance aspects that suppliers need to achieve to be aligned with the GSEP.
The greatest challenge of the job?
“There’s a lack of understanding from suppliers on the value of sustainability. However, through socialisation, consultation and discussion, the suppliers have become more and more receptive.”
The opportunity to use her expertise and knowledge and share her experience in sustainable palm oil with diverse suppliers from all over Indonesia, is what excites her most about her job. Her past experience as an auditor for different certification bodies in the palm oil sector and forestry is a big advantage and helps her deal with frequent questions concerning ISPO requirements as well as questions on getting financing for replanting.
Social Assurance Specialist
“In this role, we can help the supplier to analyse the gap between their current practice and our GSEP, especially when it comes to social and employment aspects. From the gap analysis, we can work together to develop the improvement plan, and even work together right up to implementation – we are ready to assist if needed.”
Pak Yuda helps palm oil suppliers to operate sustainably by looking at how they can strengthen their social practices. He’s been in the Agribusiness and Forestry sector for 16 years and like Ibu Wahyu has a degree from Institut Pertanian Bogor on Forestry Management.
He’s also gained experience working in certification bodies in the industry. This is extremely useful in his current role as he is familiar with certification schemes and steps to obtain certification.
The greatest challenge of the job?
“Convincing the suppliers that we are there to help. Some of them initially view us with some suspicion regarding our motives.”
Both Pak Yuda and Ibu Wahyu believe that by convincing suppliers to comply with the GSEP, GAR and its suppliers will both benefit and grow stronger together.
We’ll be featuring more team members and bringing you news of the SMART SEED workshop in our next blogs.
In the meantime, suppliers with questions on matters related to traceability and the GSEP can contact the Supplier Support Team at: [email protected]