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New Golden Agri-Resources video series highlights the role everyday people play in the extraordinary sustainability transformation of the palm oil sector

Posted: Jun 25, 2018 6 minute read GAR 715 views
  • Extraordinary Everyday video series highlights the people behind responsible palm oil production
  • Improved nutrition, land stewardship, and community support are essential components of Golden Agri-Resources’ business

Singapore, 25 June 2018 – Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) has today unveiled the first in a series of new videos presenting inspiring stories of the people at the heart of the sustainability transformation underway in the palm oil industry in Indonesia. The videos form the next phase of GAR’s Extraordinary Everyday campaign first launched in 2017.

Continuing with its mission to share the stories of the extraordinary people behind palm oil, GAR’s “The Journey” video, the first in the series, introduces farmer, Yatimin, and elementary teacher, Siti Musyaropah from West Kalimantan, a rural province of Indonesia on the island of Borneo, as well as food technologist, Punjung Renjani, from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

Palm oil’s detractors often describe industrial-scale production and the invisibility of the ingredient in so many different applications from food to personal care items, cosmetics and even fuel, as evidence of its damaging properties. GAR Vice President of Corporate Communications and Sustainability Relations, Anita Neville said these videos and the stories that lie behind them aim to showcase a more human and more positive aspect of this extraordinary, natural, plant-based ingredient.

Neville said: “Within our own operations in Indonesia, we provide employment to more than 170,000 people and through our engagement with the often remote, rural communities within which we operate, our indirect impact on lives is even greater. Some 16 million people in Indonesia are directly or indirectly employed in the industry, we wanted to show that, when responsibly produced, palm oil can and is having lasting positive impacts on the lives of these people.”

Since the introduction of its Forest Conservation Policy in 2011, the first in the palm oil sector, GAR has been a leading player in the sustainability transformation the industry has been undergoing.

“The Journey” provides an insight into how GAR is helping to improve sustainable practices, support community development, and drive improved nutrition through the people working along the palm oil value chain.

GAR Executive Director, Jesslyne Widjaja, commented, “People are at the heart of Golden Agri- Resources as a business; in our plantations and estates we support not just employees but families. And it is people like Yatimin, Siti, and Punjung that will enable us to deliver our sustainability commitments.”

“As we continue on GAR’s sustainability journey, we want to encourage and enable more people within the industry, especially smallholders, to adopt better practices that deliver better yields with less impact on the environment, resulting in greater incomes for farmers. These videos show the potential of the industry with the right tools and the right people,” said Widjaja.

The video series not only highlights the extraordinary individuals featured but also documents the many ways the palm oil sector positively impacts daily lives in Indonesia and beyond. “The Journey” video can be viewed here.

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Notes to the Editors Yatimin – Farming

In Indonesia, farmers have been using the same, traditional systems for decades, relying on outdated methods such as the overuse of chemical pesticides or the “slash-and-burn” approach of clearing land rather than investing in replanting and minimising their environmental impacts.

GAR believes that farmers such as Yatimin should be able to get more from the hard work that they put in to their land so that they can better support their families and save for a better future.

With help from the training programmes that GAR designs and runs specifically for farmers, many have switched to more effective and environmentally-friendly ways. Yatimin has moved to organic farming and today shares his success with his local community, training other farmers in organic and sustainable growing methods. Since training with GAR, Yatimin has managed to double his yield and increased his monthly income.

Siti Musyaropah – Teaching

GAR views education as the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and unlocking the potential in the young children of Indonesia. With over 30 percent1 of Indonesia’s population working in agriculture in rural areas, access to schooling is a key challenge for families. GAR supports 239 schools at its plantations, from kindergarten to senior high, and provides free education for the children of permanent employees and casual workers.

GAR schools employ over 2,050 teachers, whose passion is helping Indonesia’s children reach new heights. This passion is what drives Siti Musyaropah, a teacher at GAR’s Eka Tjipta Kayung Elementary School in West Kalimantan. Aside from standard classroom subjects, GAR’s education programmes go further by imparting practical knowledge to students such as how to prevent forest fires and sustainable farming, ensuring that, as adults, they will preserve the land in future farming generations.

Punjung Renjani – Food Technology

Food technology and reformulation is more important than ever in helping people to live healthier lives. Punjung Renjani is a food technologist at Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food, GAR’s agribusiness in Indonesia. Like all food technologists at GAR, Punjung is committed to bringing out the best quality in all GAR products. Realising the need to improve consumption patterns, she is committed to enabling consumers to make healthier choices every day.

As part of a team, Punjung is working to reformulate products to eliminate all trans-fatty acids. Her work is helping to improve the health and, therefore, the lives of consumers. GAR employs more than 80 food scientists and researchers like Punjung who are using technology and innovation to improve the quality of palm oil products.

About Golden Agri-Resources Ltd (GAR)

GAR is one of the leading palm oil plantation companies with a total planted area of 502,847 hectares (including plasma smallholders) as at 31 December 2017, located in Indonesia. It has integrated operations focused on the production of palm-based edible oil and fat.

Founded in 1996, GAR was listed on the Singapore Exchange in 1999 and has a market capitalisation of US$3.6 billion as at 30 September 2017. Flambo International Limited, an investment company, is currently GAR’s largest shareholder, with a 50.35 percent stake. GAR has several subsidiaries, including PT SMART Tbk which was listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange in 1992.

GAR is focused on sustainable palm oil production. In Indonesia, its primary activities include cultivating and harvesting of oil palm trees; processing of fresh fruit bunch into crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel; refining CPO into value-added products such as cooking oil, margarine, shortening and biodiesel; as well as merchandising palm products throughout the world. It also has operations in China and India including a deep- sea port, oilseeds crushing plants, production capabilities for refined edible oil products as well as other food products such as noodles. For more information, visit: www.goldenagri.com.sg.

About the film crew

The Extraordinary Everyday video series was directed by Fabian Nusi, an Indonesian graphic designer and art director with over 20 years of professional experience. The video series took six months to plan and prepare, ten days to film, and two months to produce. Fabian and his crew of five up-and-coming Indonesian film makers journeyed to three remote locations across West Kalimantan and the Indonesian capital of Jakarta to capture the Extraordinary Everyday footage. Fabian works at Global Initiatives, an organisation that promotes partnership solutions to global challenges through film, international events, and media projects. For details, visit: www.globalinitiatives.com

For media enquiries, please contact:

Wulan Suling (Indonesia) [email protected]
or
Jonathan Parry (International) [email protected]

1 As of 2017 according to the World Bank – 46% total population living in rural areas in 2016

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