Wilmar's Sustainability Policy
With the launch of the Policy, TFT teams worked alongside the Wilmar Sustainability team, trading departments and operational team to devise a work plan and commence implementation of the Policy.
Wilmar is recognised as the world’s largest trader in Oil Palm, controlling some 45% of global trades. Wilmar’s business strategy is founded on an integrated business model which encompasses the entire value chain of the agricultural commodity processing business, from origination, processing to branding, merchandising and distribution. As such, implementing the policy was indeed expected to be an ambitious proposition. On the completion of an initial scoping phase, we identified over 850 suppliers including Wilmar’s own 238,600 hectares of plantations and 46 mills.
Given the scale of operations, it wasn’t possible to tackle all elements at once. Together we began to formulate a set of clear actions that would ensure clear progress was being made to lead an Industry Transformation. This approach supported the Industry to take proactive measures to tackle the issues that were undermining its reputation in responsible markets, whilst ensuring Wilmar could demonstrate its own clear action and leadership.
This plan focused on key elements of:
- Supplier engagement to socialise the Policy;
- Stakeholder engagement to seek their input to the implementation of the Policy and any specific challenges;
- Establishing traceability back to mill; (see Defining & Calculating Traceability)
- Establish a logical approach to tackle refinery level supply shed risk assessments and targeted field assessments of priority mills and their upstream suppliers. Undertake these visits and with the findings support the implementation of actions to tackle the identified issues;
- The establishment of clear grievance mechanisms and making public any grievance logged as well as actions taken to address any logged grievances;
- Demonstrating transparently the Wilmar supply chain;
- Applying the High Carbon Stock Approach to new developments and supporting suppliers in understanding and applying the same methodology;
- Assessing Wilmar operations regarding No Exploitation;
- Training on Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and field works to enhance both the understanding and applications of FPIC principles;
- Capacity building to allow for more effective Conflict Resolutions approaches; and
- Engagement with smallholders.
TFT and Wilmar
TFT Teams in Partnership with Wilmar have been actively involved in:
- Engagements with international and local NGO through round table dialogues, one to one discussions and engagement directly linked to specific cases of noncompliance. Wilmar has engaged with over 200 NGOs, with many engagements supported by TFT. It was also as much to gain insights from these stakeholders re. the approach being implemented and including their ideas as to what could be done better;
- Engagement with over 300 suppliers via open forums, targeted meetings and one to one engagements
- Devised an approach to collect, process, analyse and publically present traceability data on a quarterly basis. Resulted in an enhanced capacity to share traceability data with customers and stakeholders;
- Supported Wilmar with the development of their Dashboard. Launched in January 2015 this represented the first time a large agro commodity company was prepared to show the world exactly who they purchased their product from. It was a big leap in transparency and paved the way for like transparency from many other companies within the Industry. Click to visit the Dashboard.
- Developed and trialed the Aggregator Refinery Transformation Plan approach to capture how to go about assessing mills, identifying the issues and using the findings to drive a wider transformation within the industry. This included a process to prioritise mill assessments (MPP). Click here to read more about MPP.
- Completed assessments of 45 mills of the 47 mills Wilmar conducted across Malaysia, Indonesia, Latin America and Ghana. These assessments involved field teams undertaking site visits at mills, plantations and smallholders. They also engaged in detailed meetings and interviews with management and workers over 4 to 5 days, to review how these operations were aligned to the Policy and what actions should be taken to address any areas of concern. Detailed reports of each visit were compiled and provided clear practical advice on actions to close any observed gaps. An example of the overarching report for the refinery level can be seen here.
- Completed HCS assessments in Wilmar’s operations in Indonesia and Nigeria and supported suppliers to adopt the HCS Approach and provided them with advice and guidance on how to undertake the assessments and who to engage. TFT played an active part in the development of the HCS toolkit which forms the basis of the methodology and also, with Wilmar, supported the training of a range of service providers in the use of the methodology to help deal with the increased demand of HCS Approach assessments;
- Embarked on the development of a Supplier Toolkit as a way to support the industry with tools and resources to support the transformation phase;
- Supported the development and implementation of Wilmar’s Grievance Procedure (the first company in the industry to establish one) with the official release of the procedure in January 2015.
- Completed numerous targeted visits to the field to gather information on both publicly listed grievances against suppliers and also proactive engagements on the basis of potential issues of noncompliance.
- Undertook targeted landscape level assessments i.e. the Leuser Ecosystem in Sumatra, Indonesia, a place of rich biodiversity home to elephants, rhinos, tigers and orangutans living in the wild, to understand all mills within the landscape and the links to companies with responsible purchasing policies. Engagement with priority mills within the landscape to help them understand the issues and consequences of certain actions.
- Completed FPIC training for Wilmar operations in Indonesia, Uganda and Nigeria. Also compiled a FPIC Manual to guide alignment to the principles into operations;
- Completed conflict resolution training and, through the establishment of TFT’s Centre of Social Excellence, supported Wilmar’s teams to share TFT’s learnings in approaching and handling conflicts whilst also receiving learnings from the experiences of the industry partners.
- Facilitated works to support smallholders within the Wilmar supply chain via TFT’s Rurality Initiative. This sees TFT’s field teams working with farmers on the ground intensively to better understand their needs and ensure that support packages are developed and offered that create more resilient farmers, better able to target markets and improve their practices to enhance their productivity, whilst ensuring they apply responsible production and development approaches. Funding for the initiatives is provided by other TFT Members as a way to directly support smallholders who represent approximately 40% of the global palm oil supply.
We feel a great deal has been achieved so far, yet it’s also clear that considerable work remains. Wilmar’s own, most recent Progress Report and a statement by their Chief Sustainability Officer, clearly points to Wilmar’s recognition that much remains to be done.
TFT remains committed to supporting Wilmar with its implementation and tackling the challenges ahead. TFT also believe Wilmar remains a very committed company and we will continue to support the necessary steps to ensure that Wilmar and the industry as a whole moves progressively to its sustainability goals.
TFT and Wilmar are in the process of finalising a public summary of the 2016 work plan and will upload that to this site once complete.