Cargill wins Platinum Indonesian CSR Award for its palm oil plantation smallholder program in South Sumatra that resulted in living standard improvements for farmers, effective cooperatives for long-term economic viability

JAKARTA, Indonesia , December 20, 2011 (press release) – Cargill was presented with the highest honor for its commitment and efforts to spur economic development within Indonesia’s Agriculture and Agro-Industry sector last night at the Indonesian CSR Awards 2011 ceremony held in Jakarta. Presented by the Indonesian Minister of Social Affairs Dr. Salim Segaf Al Jufri, the Platinum Indonesian CSR Award (ICA) was bestowed on PT Hindoli, Cargill’s palm oil plantation in South Sumatra. It recognizes PT Hindoli’s successful smallholder program that resulted in a vast improvement in the living standards of the farmers and the establishment of effective cooperatives for long-term economic viability.

The Platinum ICA comes barely three weeks after the South Sumatra government conferred Cargill with the Best Investor Award, recognizing the company’s achievements in four key areas – business growth; corporate social responsibility and community development efforts; environmental conservation and sustainability programs; and exemplary employee-employer initiatives.

“A successful partnership between a company and smallholders requires a vision for the future, commitment and a long-term view. We believe in dealing and interacting with smallholders with absolute integrity and respect as we build the business together – as partners,” said Anthony Yeow, President Director of PT Hindoli. “The Platinum Indonesian CSR award comes on the heels of our recent Best Investor Award from the South Sumatra government, underscoring our commitment to work closely with the community to help them take advantage of economic opportunities and achieve a better life for their families. We are very grateful to the Indonesian Government and the Sungai Lilin community for making the awards a reality.”

Through Hindoli’s smallholder program, the farmers in Sungai Lilin, South Sumatra went from subsistence farming to owning a viable and healthy agricultural business that could be passed on from generation to generation. PT Hindoli works directly with thousands of farmers to help them increase yields, improve incomes and raise their standards of living. The company’s investments enhance agricultural production, develop infrastructure and support education, healthcare and the community’s other economic and social needs.

The PT Hindoli smallholders were amongst the first in the world to be certified as sustainable under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Guidance for Scheme Smallholders in August 2010. Through a formal contract, PT Hindoli – also RSPO certified – shares premiums from certified sustainable palm oil produced by the smallholders. In June 2011, these smallholders received their first premiums from the sale of RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil which they produced. Premiums received from the sustainable palm oil have helped improved the living conditions of smallholders and their families significantly.

The economic development resulting from the Hindoli smallholder program can be seen in the infrastructure improvements and growing prosperity of the Sungai Lilin sub-district. PT Hindoli funds the building of schools and the expansion of classrooms and teaching facilities. In addition, the company employs teachers for kindergartens and primary schools, and sponsors Government and Teacher Association programmes to help improve the competency of teachers and the quality of education in the communities where PT Hindoli operates.

PT Hindoli also builds medical clinics and other healthcare facilities while providing medical equipment to schools. The company provides free medical services and facilitates health awareness programs to the community and employees on subjects such as reproduction and family planning,. This is done both independently and together with local governments.

The Indonesian CSR Awards, given out every three years, is organized by the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Corporate Forum for Community Development (CFCD). The ICA recognizes outstanding achievements in eight fields of CSR, such as economic development, environment, corporate governance and human rights, among others. Three categories of the awards – Platinum, Gold and Silver, in order of importance – were given out to companies from five industries: agriculture; mining and energy; banking and financial services; industrial and manufacturing; as well as infrastructure and construction.

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