The journey towards responsible plantation management started in the early 1920s with the establishment of the Company's first estates. In those days, it was only possible to attract employees by providing housing, free schooling and free health care. Villages and infrastructure that benefited the surroundings were created. The first set of guidelines and policies was developed, and these have been evolving over time to be the backbone of the current corporate policies. In the last decade, this has resulted in the SIPEF Responsible Plantations Policy, which was adopted in 2014.
The RSPO was established in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders. At the heart of RSPO certification are the RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C) which were adopted in November 2005, the pilot being implemented for two years, and released for use from November 2007.
SIPEF became an RSPO member in 2005 and immediately played an active role, contributing tirelessly to improving the RSPO standards. SIPEF represents the growers of the Pacific (Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea) on the Board of Governors of the RSPO. SIPEF is also very active in the BHCV Working Group, in the No Deforestation Task Force and in the Jurisdictional Approach Working Group.
By implementing the P&C immediately, and taking all the necessary measures to match with the RSPO requirements, SIPEF obtained its first RSPO certificates in 2009, when our two first mills in Papua New Guinea, Hargy and Navo, were certified. At the same time, the smallholders delivering to the SIPEF mills received support to participate in the Company's commitments, and about 3 700 oil palm farmers have also been certified since then.
This marked the beginning of a long series of certifications, which were obtained mill after mill, and plantation after plantation, in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
SIPEF makes sure that all new operations are certified once the estates reach maturity or when a mill is commissioned.
In the meantime, already in 2004, SIPEF certified its oil palm production areas in Papua New Guinea, using the ISO 14001 standard. In 2018, with the exception of Musi Rawas and DIL, the SIPEF companies in Indonesia achieved ISO 9001:2015. In 2019, the scope of the ISO 9001:2015 certificate was extended to include all the companies.
For what concerns bananas, the Ivory Coast plantation was EUREPGAP certified in 2006, and since then has remained GLOBALG.A.P. certified.
In 2019, one of the three banana sites of SIPEF, Motobé of Plantations J. Eglin in Ivory Coast, was Fairtrade certified. The two other estates, Agboville and Azaguié, received the Fairtrade certification in 2020.
Continuing on this chosen path of sustainable certifications, two SIPEF mills in Indonesia, Bukit Maradja and Perlabian, were RSPO certified in 2010 and two others, Mukomuko and Bunga Tanjung, in 2011.
A third and newly built mill in Papua New Guinea, Barema, was then certified in 2014, and the same year the process of kernel production was RSPO certified for two sites in Papua New Guinea.
A fourth Indonesian mill, Umbul Mas Wisesa, earned its RSPO certificate in 2015, and the later acquired Dendymarker mill was also first certified the same year.
SIPEF also received ISCC certifications for three mills in Indonesia, Bukit Maradja and Perlabian mills in 2010, and Mukomuko mill in 2013.
As soon as the Indonesian certification system ISPO was launched in 2015, SIPEF managed to have its six mills certified between 2015 and 2017. In 2020, there was an increase of three ISPO certificates due to the fact that, PT Kerasaan, PT Toton Usaha Mandiri and PT Mukomuko Agro Sejahtera, palm estates without a mill, but which deliver their production to a SIPEF mill, also hold separate ISPO certificates.
Sustainability has always been the main driver, but the recent need for communication led to publishing the first Sustainability Report in 2016.
SIPEF tea and rubber were Rainforest Alliance certified in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Bananas, for their part, have also been Rainforest Alliance certified since 2016. After the initial gap analysis, the first rubber estate and factory in Palembang were certified in August 2017 and the other two rubber estates of the Group were certified in the course of 2018. All certificates remained active throughout 2020.
In 2019, Cibuni received Food Safety System Certification (FSSC 22000) version 4.1, which has remained in place since then.
Cibuni tea estate was HALAL certified in September 2019, which remains valid till September 2021.