Every year, RSPO Indonesia organises a programme to increase public awareness on the use of ecolabel products amongst Indonesian youth. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to try a different approach this year by hosting a virtual talk show on 19 May 2020 called #SmartConsumer2020. Themed "The Roles, Responsibilities and Real Actions of Millennial Consumers in the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Indonesia", it was our first virtual event in collaboration with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Indonesia, Rainforest Alliance Indonesia, and the University of North Sumatra.
At the event, Tiur Rumondang, Country Director of RSPO Indonesia, delivered a presentation on “Opportunities and Actions of Indonesian Youth in Realising Sustainable Palm Oil” to more than 200 participants, comprising youth, NGO representatives, and government organisations from various regions in the country.
RSPO member, Royal Ahold Delhaize (PT. Lion Super Indo), was one of the speakers at the event. They urged the participants to make healthier choices and eliminate waste. “Next time when you are at the store, look at the labels on the products that you put in your cart. Make sure you choose ecolabel products,” said D. Yuvlinda Susanta, Head of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability of PT. Lion Super Indo.
During the session, many participants had only just heard about ecolabelling, and were made aware that consumers play an important role in contributing to the realisation of the SDGs. Nevertheless, they actively took part in the interactive question and answer session and were interested to know about things like “What is the obligation to use the label for companies/products that have been certified?”, “What is the correlation between the use of logos and the use of certified products, especially in Indonesia?”, and “When millennials buy ecolabel products, what benefits do farmers receive either directly/indirectly?”, among others.
At the end of the event, feedback from the participants showed that 99.4% of millennial consumers are ready to support the consumption of sustainable products in Indonesia. We believe this is a good start in creating a change in Indonesian millennials’ consumption style. We will see great changes in the coming years, where youth in Indonesia will support and buy products that are produced in an environmentally and socially-friendly way.