Innovation is in our DNA. It’s a deep-rooted business focus underpinned by our heritage in research and development.
Sime Darby Plantation has been at the forefront of agriculture research and development since early 1900s. We have made considerable contributions in pioneering developing, and commercializing various best agro-management practices in the oil palm as well as rubber industry - a few of which have received international recognition and became the industry’s golden standard:
Zero-burning Replanting Technique
Introduced commercially by Sime Darby Plantation in 1985, this has proven to be the most environment-friendly replanting technique and was subsequently adopted as the industry standard in palm oil replanting. In 1992, Sime Darby Plantation was admitted into the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Global 500 Roll of Honour for Environmental Achievement during Rio Earth Summit for the development and commercialisation of this technique.
Read more about the Zero-burning Replanting Technique
Hotspot Management System
As part of our policy for sustainable practices and safe working place, we install this fire monitoring dashboard in interest of transparency and to provide insights that could lead to long-term solutions to the recurring haze situation based on satellite data. The initiative was recognised through the Asia Geospatial Excellence Awards by GeoSmart Asia in 2016 for application of geospatial information and technology in plantation in Asia Pacific.
Other notable contributions of our R&D:
- Integrated Pest Management
- Leading management practices on water conservation and irrigation,
- Conversion of EFB and POME into compost for plantations
- Developing new series of high quality oil palm planting material;
- Further optimisation of downstream processes to improve refinery’s efficiency and product quality;
- Developing and commercialising of healthier oil and nutraceutical products; and
- Membrane latex filtration, leading to higher recovery of latex concentrate from waste streams.
In addition to Genome Select planting materials, we have also embarked on the research and production of another high yielding planting material – the new Dami seed progenies, which are oil palm seeds produced from the best elite parent palms of high producing palm hybrids to achieve high and consistent yield in the long-term. Over time, these new planting materials are expected to deliver better oil yield improvements as compared to our current planting materials.
Industry leading initiatives
We are also exploring and scaling up the following initiatives:
- effective water management and conservation practices, including irrigation system for drier, inland soils and water management for coastal areas and areas with high water table;
- enhancing our mechanisation and automation through robotic harvesters, automated loose fruit collectors and concept harvesting machines which will contribute to worker reduction, improved productivity and cost savings;
- advanced milling and latest extraction technologies through continuous processing, integrated processing complex, minimum GHG emissions and zero discharge; and
- digitisation which allows for effective process monitoring, higher productivity, efficient decentralised decision making as well as eliminating the need for routine and repetitive paperwork. Our efforts in this involve exploring technologies in drone monitoring for speedy intervention and digitised supervision. We are among the first in the Malaysian oil palm industry to successfully connect upstream operations to estate fields digitally, through our Sime Darby Digital Supervision (“SDDS”) and Sime Darby Plantation Estate, Mill and Upstream Applications (“SEMUA 2.0”).
Our Premium Quality Oil which offers low free fatty acids oil blends (<1.2% free fatty acids) are produced from our upstream operations are used as feedstock for our refineries, to produce high value, differentiated products in the food sector.
Examples of such products include infant formula with low 3-MCPD levels, “Certio” branded red palm olein, a premium quality frying oil, and bakery and confectionery applications branded under “Pastrex”, “GoldBake”, “Master Craft” and “Vemor”.
The customers of our differentiated products in the food sector are largely made up of renowned FMCG companies. Currently, we have modified and expanded our milling and refinery capacity to increase production of Premium Quality Oil to cater for these opportunities.