The Aceh Sustainable Palm Oil Roadmap was launched during RT2023, signalling the readiness of Indonesia’s Aceh Province to adopt sustainable practices and support smallholders in accessing global markets amidst tightening international regulations. The initiative is a multi-stakeholder collaboration between RSPO, the Indonesia Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Aceh Indonesian Ministry, and IDH Indonesia.

The landmark initiative is aimed at supporting smallholders in Aceh Province to participate in the international sustainable palm oil market through joint RSPO-ISPO Certification. Over 2500 smallholders within the Aceh Tamiang landscape will benefit from this collaboration.

The Aceh Sustainable Palm Oil Roadmap is part of the Indonesian government’s efforts, mandated in its Presidential Instruction of National Action Plan on Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil 2019-2024, to certify its smallholders through strengthened capacity building, finalising the status and legality of smallholder lands, and the promotion of sustainable palm oil certification.

Speaking at the launch, Dr. Ir. Musdhalifah Machmud, Senior Advisor, Connectivity, Service Sector and Natural Resources of the Indonesia Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs, said “The journey towards one million certified smallholders is not a distant dream, but an achievable goal. The remarkable achievements of oil palm smallholder groups in Aceh Tamiang are a testament to the transformative power of collective action. Their unwavering dedication and support have led to their feat of becoming ISPO and RSPO Certified. Their accomplishment is a resounding affirmation of their commitment to sustainable practices and their ability to adhere to the highest international standards.”

RSPO Chief Executive Officer Joseph D’Cruz remarked, “The Indonesian palm oil sector is at a pivotal point in its evolution. It can leverage its leadership in palm oil production and become global stewards leading the way to a more sustainable future. The Aceh Sustainable Roadmap is the latest initiative that represents the best of multi-stakeholder cooperation, unlocking innovative landscape approaches and getting thousands of smallholders on the path towards sustainability.”

The Aceh initiative also marked a step forward in the collaboration between RSPO and Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO), the two leading palm oil sustainability certification schemes in the world. The progress of both standards will underpin smallholder support by making sustainable palm oil certification more accessible and affordable for smallholders; promoting more comprehensive market access for Indonesian palm oil by smallholders; and providing much needed training and capacity building.

Also present at the launch were Achmad Marzuki, Acting Governor of Aceh Indonesian Ministry, and Nassat Idris, Country Director, IDH Indonesia.

Indonesia’s sustainable palm oil industry record growth

Indonesia’s sustainable palm oil industry has been enjoying significant growth on several fronts, including growth in RSPO Certification among the country’s independent smallholders and mills, as well as CSPO consumption increase, with volumes totalling 318,400 metric tonnes as of 2022.
The exceptional performance of Indonesian independent smallholders – whose total certified area grew by 96% to represent over 21,000 independent smallholders in the RSPO System – has been a decisive factor contributing to the industry’s progress.

“RSPO and Indonesia share a common vision of a sustainable future for palm oil,” added Joseph D’Cruz. “We look forward to seeing more innovative models, such as the Aceh Sustainable Roadmap, replicated through effective partnerships and collective action, which are imperative in transforming the market in a way that ensures no smallholder is left behind.”

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