PPI Compact signed: Aceh Tamiang to become sustainable production region as 1st step towards VSA

Aceh Tamiang will improve Sustainable Palm Oil Yield by 30% through a PPI (Production, Protection, Inclusion) Compact as a first step towards Aceh Tamiang becoming a Verified Sourcing Area. The Government of Aceh Tamiang District signed the PPI compact together with multiple local stakeholders in the presence of Unilever, Musim Mas and PepsiCo. The 3 companies are exploring investment opportunities in the District to increase sustainable palm oil production while protecting the Leuser Ecosystem.

“Aceh Tamiang will become a sustainable commodity-producing region in Indonesia. In the next 3 years, we will up the sustainable palm oil productivity by a third. This effort will be followed by a commitment to acting strongly on reforestation and ensuring that 30% of independent smallholders in this district will have official land certificates, “said Head of Aceh Tamiang District, H. Mursil, during the signing of PPI agreement in Aceh Tamiang Regional Secretariat Hall on Monday (12/12).

The Government of Aceh Tamiang District signed the PPI compact together with the Indonesian Association of Indonesian Palm Oil Producers (GAPKI) Aceh, the Leuser Conservation Forum (FKL), Yayasan Inisiatif Dagang Hijau (IDH), the Aceh Tamiang Farmers and Fishermen Group Association (KTNA) and the Forest Management Unit (KPH) Region III Aceh. Collaboration will ensure that all target of sustainable palm oil production, protection of forest areas and the Leuser Ecosystem Area and improving the welfare of independent smallholders will be achieved in 2023.

Decree of the Head of District
The Government of Aceh Tamiang District has issued a Decree of the Head of Aceh Tamiang District Number 680 in 2019, concerning the establishment of the Aceh Tamiang Center of Excellence (CoE) Task Force. This CoE will be a multi-stakeholder platform in managing Aceh Tamiang’s sustainable plantation crops as well as making Aceh Tamiang as one of the districts that produce green commodities in Indonesia.

Representative from Unilever and PepsiCo as well as palm oil producer, Musim Mas Group, also attended the event. Currently, the three companies are exploring investment opportunities in Aceh Tamiang District worth about 10 billion Rupiah to increase sustainable palm oil productivity and the capacity of independent smallholders while ensuring the protection of Leuser Ecosystem, where Aceh Tamiang District is one of the important buffer areas of Leuser Ecosystem.

“PepsiCo is deeply committed to the long-term transformation of the palm oil industry, this means protecting areas of exceptional value such as the Leuser Ecosystem, while also supporting smallholders and companies to become more sustainable, resilient and prosperous. We support this flagship program which is the first in a long-term partnership between PepsiCo and stakeholders in Aceh Tamiang to support the government’s vision of Production, Protection and Inclusion,” said Christine Daugherty, Vice President of Global Sustainable Agriculture PepsiCo. Read more on PepsiCo and palm oil

Jurisdictional approach to sustainable production
“To truly protect forests and wildlife over the long term, it is really important to take a jurisdictional approach to sustainable production that involves local government, the private sector, civil society organizations and meets the needs of communities living alongside forests. Improving yields and supporting smallholder farmers is a critical part of this. This is why we are pleased to be working alongside partners in Aceh Tamiang, helping develop a landscape program that can protect the Leuser Ecosystem and support sustainable livelihoods across the district,” said Martin Huxtable, Director of Sustainable Sourcing Unilever.

“As one of the biggest players in the palm oil industry, we have a responsibility to encourage others to follow our lead in producing sustainable palm oil – this includes independent smallholders as well,” said Olivier Tichit, Director of Sustainable Supply Chain, Musim Mas. “

Verified Sourcing Area pilot
The Production, Protection and Inclusion program in Aceh Tamiang gives Musim Mas the opportunity to scale up their efforts to support smallholders by connecting the company with stakeholders across industries and the government.

“The PPI compact and CoE will build an attractive investment portfolio for Aceh Tamiang as one of the sustainable commodity-producing regions in Indonesia. Thanks to the Aceh government and the companies that are sourcing from and/or investing in the PPI compact area of Aceh Tamiang, the region can serve as a pilot to test and develop the Verified Sourcing Area (VSA) approach. The contribution of each stakeholder of the Compact signed today is important in testing and developing the VSA. When successful the area will attract more green investments and sourcing companies in a process of continuous improvement” said Fitrian Ardiansyah, Chairman of Yayasan IDH.

The PPI Compact was built using the jurisdictional landscape approach that also supports the National Action Plan for Indonesia’s Sustainable Palm Oil, in strengthening the certification standards of sustainable palm oil in Indonesia while improving independent smallholders’ capacity.

More than half of the Aceh Tamiang’s Area for Other Land Uses (APL) is oil palm plantations and it contributes greatly to the district revenue. Aceh Tamiang as one of the KEL buffer areas plays an important role in ensuring sustainable palm oil plantation practices in the future. The Compact signed by the Aceh Tamiang regent and other stakeholders provides alternative solutions to balance economic interests, without neglecting the aspects of environmental protection and increasing independent smallholders’ livelihoods.