Over 100 years ago, Malaysia's first commercial oil palm trees were planted at Tennamaran Estate, Selangor. Both country and crop have come a long way since then.
Over the past few years, Earthworm Foundation has visited a number of palm oil mills and plantations around Malaysia. These field visits uncovered good, often innovative, practices among pioneers on the ground. While by no means perfect, we realised that these pioneers had the potential to inspire their peers and drive NDPE (No Deforestation, Peat and Exploitation) standards forward.
This is why we initiated the Pioneer's Forum in Malaysia. The forum taps into the wealth of experience already present in the industry and attempts to spread good practices by convening industry players and suppliers. It showcases the reality that a shift to responsible production practices - which to some may seem unrealistic - is possible.
This is the story of how Ladang Rakyat Terengganu (LRT), with help from Cargill and Bunge Loders Croklaan, conducted a High Conservation Value (HCV) study and shared their journey at Earthworm Foundation’s Pioneer’s Forum. Through its participation at the Pioneer’s Forum, as well as other Earthworm supplier engagement efforts, LRT first learnt about the links between passport retention and forced labour. This resulted in LRT taking action to become the first company in Terengganu, Malaysia to return passports to its migrant workers.