Fri 18th January 2013
How a father and daughter are working together to develop a sustainable palm oil future
A father and daughter who both run oil palm smallholdings in Thailand have worked together to help build a sustainable future for the Thai palm industry, in the process earning support from one of the world’s biggest personal care brands, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies.
(Picture shows, from left, Pokkasab Jaikliang, Warin Jaikliang and their daughter Anongnit Jaikliang)
Farmer Anongnit Jaikliang is one of the new generation of smallholders to combine traditional, family-learned expertise with new ideas for producing palm oil sustainably. For her, the link between old and new became even stronger when, in her role as a farm advisor coordinator for international agency GIZ, she ended up training her own father in sustainable farming methods.
As a result of their joint efforts, her father, Warin Jaikliang, and mother, Pokkasab Jaikliang, are among the first group of independent smallholders to receive certification from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
That group has now joined the global drive for sustainable palm oil via the RSPO’s Book & Claim process. About 80% of the palm oil produced in Thailand comes from independent smallholders who have no route to export internationally, so their only chance to earn a premium for RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil is with GreenPalm – they continue to sell oil locally while trading GreenPalm certificates to buyers anywhere in the world.
Johnson & Johnson has bought the Thai smallholders’ first certificates to cover a proportion of palm-based ingredients in the brand’s personal care products.
The smallholder certification is the result of a partnership between the RSPO and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German government-owned agency that promotes international cooperation in sustainable development.
GIZ employed half a dozen young oil palm farmers as farm advisors in Thailand to work intensively with mills and smallholders, helping and advising them on sustainable methods and guiding them towards their goal of RSPO certification. Working with four mills and around 1,000 smallholders, the consultants offer training in sustainable farm management, including improved cultivation methods, selective use of fertilisers and pesticides, and cooperation with mills and agencies.
One of the immediate benefits to farmers is the increased oil yield from palm fruits gained from harvesting at the right time, while both farmers and workers can benefit from improved health and safety practices.
Johnson & Johnson Supporting Sustainable Sourcing
Anongnit Jaikliang was one of those farm advisors, and is now continuing to work with farmers to hold up Thailand as an example of the way palm oil production can be made sustainable through joint efforts – and by combining the skills and knowledge of more than one generation.