Choose Products Responsibly: Another side of Palm Oil Industry
Palm oil industry has played a pivotal role in the Indonesian national economy. The contribution to the GDP growth has reached 2.36% in 2018, ranking the highest among non-oil and gas sectors. Spread across 24 provinces in Indonesia (BPS, 2018), the impact of Palm oil industry is much heavier than can be imagined. On the employment aspect, 4.2 million farmers and 12 million outsourced employees work in the Palm industry. On a global level, Indonesia is the largest producer of Palm oil, being responsible for 54% of the total world palm oil production (Ministry of Agriculture, 2018). In this context, whether Indonesia’s Palm oil industry aligns with sustainable development principles or not is of utmost importance for involved stakeholders, nationally and Internationally.
In response to this critical issue, the Indonesian government has put serious measures to improve the Indonesian palm oil industry in line with sustainable development principles. Through the Ministry of Agriculture Regulation No. 19/ 2011 the Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) regulation was issued. This ISPO certification is made mandatory for palm companies that sell their products to international markets through the Minister Regulation No. 11/2015. The Government of Indonesia also has developed policy benefiting smallholder farmers that work in the palm oil sector through the launch of smallholder Replanting Program in 2017. Through this program, President Joko Widodo targeted 2.4 million ha of Replanting Program in 16 provinces. Currently the smallholder farmers share 45.64% of the total palm oil areas along with 49.17% of big private companies and 5.19 of big public companies (BPS, 2018).
The development of sustainable palm oil industry in Indonesia, however, is not only the responsibility of government. All key related stakeholders, including the private sector, civil societies, and consumer communities share equal responsibility to build responsible and sustainable palm oil industry that will bring benefits for decent living of the communities (people), economic sustainability (profit) and environmental sustainability (planet). This is where all of us, as consumers can contribute by being responsible consumers. Choose products responsibly!
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