Wilmar has long been committed to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification. We have been a member of the RSPO since 2005, and have been active in many aspects of its initiatives, including contributing to its various working groups. More importantly, we have developed a time-bound plan to have all our plantations and mills certified against the RSPO Principles & Criteria (P&C), with the aim to produce one million metric tonnes (mt) of certified palm oil by end 2016.
All of our Malaysian upstream operations (mills and plantations) are fully certified; and progress is on track to achieve the same for our Indonesian and African upstream operations by the stipulated timeline.
In particular in Africa, our mill and its supply base in Ghana were awarded the RSPO certification in September 2014, possibly the first plantation company to have achieved this. Our operations in Nigeria are also part of our RSPO time-bound plan. Unplanted areas are being developed according to the RSPO New Planting Procedures, including undergoing the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process and High Conservation Value (HCV) area assessments, which will be conducted by independent consultants.
On our downstream operations (refineries), we are preparing our facilities and management systems to ensure that our operations are able to trace our palm oil supply back to their respective plantations. Many of our refineries in Indonesia, Malaysia, Europe, China and India are either Segregated and/or Mass Balance certified.
Wilmar also supports the smallholders in its supply chain. It is critical to us that smallholders are included in our certification efforts, and we have committed to helping our associated smallholders get certified to the RSPO standards by 2019. We are making progress on this front and have completed certification for plasma smallholders and outgrowers for three of our mills in Indonesia; and are on track to complete smallholder certification by 2017, two years ahead of our original plans.
Independent smallholders are self-financed, managed and equipped, and are not bound Smallholder and Outgrowers to any one mill. Wilmar is not in a position to impose certification requirements on them. However, we recognise that independent smallholders account for a significant proportion of the total smallholder palm oil production in Indonesia and Malaysia, and we do not wish to exclude them from our supply chain. For this reason, on 1 April 2014, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Wild Asia, a Malaysian social enterprise to help independent smallholders towards RSPO certification. This is a five-year programme to start up a series of smallholder certification schemes to help increase the volume of RSPO certified sustainable products from independent producers to the market.