Sime Darby Plantation employs more than 100,000 people in its locations worldwide. Our people are our most important assets and we strive to provide the best working conditions for them. In our plantations, we aim to provide best-in-class housing and living amenities to workers and their families. As part of our sustainability strategy, we have embarked on a number of initiatives to enhance social welfare for and provide protection to our people. In Malaysia, Sime Darby Plantation is a major employer, employing a significant number of local and foreign workers. Through our commitment towards being an employer of choice, we ensure that equal opportunities exist for all and do not tolerate discrimination on any grounds. We support organisations such as Malayan Agricultural Producers Association (MAPA) and other plantation worker unions.
The Gender Committee is an initiative at our upstream operations involving estates and mills where women are provided a platform to develop and participate in enhancing their safety and health, education, and skills. The Gender Committee organises awareness sessions on breast cancer, financial planning and retirement, and organises community gatherings and events. An important element of the Gender Committee is a grievance platform where workers who are facing issues at the workplace are able to disclose and report with privacy and without fear. A specially-formed unit has been assigned to investigate and receive reports from affected women and handle them with discretion and in accordance with set procedures.
Child Protection Policy
We ensure that our operations do not employ children and provide awareness training to all employees on the importance of child protection. We seek to prevent any occurrence of mistreatment of children and make available an easily accessible avenue to identify and correct any cases where the policy has been violated.
Sime Darby Plantation’s child protection policy ensures that children of employees who live within our housing complexes are provided adequate protection and care.
Building Estates’ Sustainability & Transformation (BEST)
The Building Estates’ Sustainability & Transformation (BEST)initiative seeks to increase our talent pool in our estates through the training of young school-leavers in the cultivation of oil palm.
Working With Our Local Communities
In all of our operations, we strive to make a positive impact on communities and seek to protect the rights and needs of local and indigenous populations. We provide employment, raise living standards, and assist communities through training and development. We have carried out external and internal social impact assessments for all our plantations, including those in Liberia and Indonesia which have yet to be RSPO-certified.
We developed responsible sourcing guidelines in approaching our third party suppliers in Malaysia and Indonesia. The implementation of the guidelines is crucial in ensuring our suppliers adopt best practices and are aligned with our sustainability commitment.
Wild Asia Group Scheme (WAGS)
SDP is collaborating with Wild Asia (WA), a Malaysian-based social enterprise, to assist small oil palm producers in the Lower Kinabatangan area in Sabah to be part of its sustainable palm oil value chain. Under the partnership, SDP, the world’s biggest producer of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO), will secure the supply of certified oil palm Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB) from small producers under the Wild Asia Group Scheme (WAGS) for its Sandakan Palm Oil Mill. To date, there are about 1,000 small producers in the Lower Kinabatangan area, of whom approximately 400 have been identified by WA. The project will also see WA work closely with SDP to assist the rest of the small producers in the area to achieve RSPO certification.
This project will help to ensure a more steady income for the small producers in the area, as they look forward to improving their operations to meet international standards with the RSPO certification. This effort would also change the status of SDP’s Sandakan Bay Mill from its current Mass Balance to Identity Preserved Mill, once it starts to get fully certified supply from all its third-party sources.
Small producers in the lower Kinabatangan area are a group of independent oil palm growers, each with less than 500 hectares of planted areas. They also include smallholders with even smaller plantation size of 50 hectares and below (based on RSPO’s definition). While SDP’s mills currently receive about 11,000 metric tonnes (MT) FFB from 24 independent smallholders throughout Malaysia, the partnership with WA will significantly increase the participation of smallholders in SDP’s supply chain. As of April 2017, WAGS has managed to certify 1 smallholder (Kebun Bacho) and 1 smallgrower (Golden Forefront) in the Sandakan Bay supply chain. SDP is actively working on certifying the other Sandakan Bay suppliers under the WAGS programme, as well as bringing other already certified suppliers under WAGS to its Sandakan Bay mill.