Founded in 1979, Grupo Palmas is the largest Peruvian producer and exporter of palm oil. It manages 25,500 hectares of oil palm and 1,200 hectares of cocoa, all of which is located in the Peruvian Amazon. The company owns and operates 3 palm oil mills, 1 kernel crusher, and 1 refinery in Peru and employs 6,000 employees. Grupo Palmas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Grupo Romero.
Grupo Palmas became an Earthworm Foundation member for palm oil in 2017. In April of that year the company released their Sustainability Policy for the responsible production of palm oil and cocoa. The policy covers commitments to the protection of High Carbon Stock forests (HCS) and areas with High Conservation Value (HCVs); no development on peat or in wetlands; and the respect of the rights of communities, workers, and smallholders. Earthworm Foundation and Grupo Palmas work together on the implementation and monitoring of these commitments through internal company trainings, dedicated projects with smallholders, and a landscape level HCS assessment.
Publication of Sustainability Policy
Publication of first sustainability progress report
Launch of Rurality smallholder project in Tocache, a province abutting the Peruvian Amazon
Earthworm Foundation coaches and fosters innovation within Grupo Palmas to implement the company’s sustainability policy. In order for Grupo Palmas to better address social issues in the regions where it operates, Earthworm Foundation is working with the company to build internal staff capacity in conflict resolution, to establish dialogues communities, and to improve the company’s internal processes for accepting and resolving grievances. We are also evaluating labour conditions at some Grupo Palmas operations in order to understand where improvements can be made to better respect and protect workers.
Grupo Palmas sources from a number of smallholders in the Tocache region of Peru. Through a Rurality project, Earthworm Foundation is working to complement Grupo Palmas’ existing smallholder program in order to introduce a focus on increasing smallholder resiliency and strengthening farmers’ environmental awareness. The Rurality project aims to address challenges faced by smallholders both within the Grupo Palmas supply chain as well as in the wider landscape. In concert with a multi-stakeholder engagement process, the project’s objective is to ensure the protection of key conservation areas in Tocache while taking steps to promote successful livelihoods for smallholders.
As an additional element of our work to protect conservation areas within the company’s supply chain, we are supporting Grupo Palmas in a conservation and community development project in Maniti and Santa Cecilia, in the Loreto region of Peru. The project aims to develop sustainable business activities that generate sufficient financial returns to protect approximately 14,000 ha of predominantly primary forest, while providing jobs and development for local communities. This year, we are conducting an HCS-HCV scoping study to initiate the identification of conservation and social values and assess potential development options for the projects.