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Good practices in the Grupo Palmas' Productive Chains program
In recent years, a global trend has developed in the food market, where consumers and companies demand that palm oil suppliers comply with strict sustainability standards. This demand reaches both palm oil companies and their supply chains.
Grupo Palmas marks a milestone by obtaining RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) membership from the group of smallholders of the Association of Palm Producers of Santa Lucía (Tocache, San Martín region) in Peru.
Good practices for Sustainability
In Peru, more than 70% of palm production is carried out by smallholders. Therefore, achieving the professionalisation of the farmer, aligned with RSPO standards is the key to sustaining this growth. Along these lines, Grupo Palmas, the main Peruvian producer, has been promoting the incorporation of sustainability criteria in its supply chain in the regions of San Martin, Ucayali and Loreto.
Since 2018, eleven producers in the Amazonian region of San Martin began the journey to improve their oil palm cultivation practices and incorporate sustainability criteria in all production phases, in a total of 303.81 hectares, where a journey towards sustainability has been firmly undertaken.
Pioneers in Sustainable Peruvian Palm Oil Production
Grupo Palmas has established sustainability as one of the fundamental pillars of its business strategy. The company has implemented several actions in Peru, including the publication of its Sustainability Policy in 2017, which commits to include smallholders in its supply chain and guarantee its traceability and sustainability. It has become the first Peruvian company to obtain RSPO certification under the Principles and Criteria standard. It now drives RSPO membership for San Martin farmers in its supply chain. In this way, it generates shared value with the smallholder, sharing their experience and knowledge to achieve professionalisation.
Complying with the principles of the company's Sustainability Policy, in 2018, Grupo Palmas, with the support of Earthworm Foundation, conducted the first study of High Carbon Reserves (ARC) and High Conservation Values (HCV) at a landscape scale in Latin America, in Tocache (San Martin). Due to the Productive Chains Program and with the information from the HCS/HCV studIES, smallholders ensure sustainable production by applying good agricultural practices, thus ensuring environmental care.
The commitment and willingness to work as a team of the participating institutions (community, local and regional governments, companies), and smallholders, with the vision of growing together as a solid chain oriented to the international market.
This orientation should lead to building alliances between the public and private sectors. In the case of the public sector, the main contribution consists of formulating policies or creating favourable conditions for developing the supported chains. The private sector enables companies of different scales to work together and implement a commercial strategy.
Furthermore, the value of RSPO certification for smallholders is broad and extends to three areas.
1. Economically, having a sustainable supply chain is of major interest to the international food industry. This means a certified smallholder can sell its production to more companies and generate greater income.
2. Socially, it shows that it is possible to develop palm responsibly with Peruvian smallholders and even be endorsed by the highest sustainability standards in the world.
3. In the environmental area, smallholders strengthen their capacities for better control of their production and learn about good agricultural practices, solid waste management and proper management of agrochemicals.