Pelalawan, 7 June 2021 – As the dry season in June 2021 approaches, Asian Agri has engaged several stakeholders in the prevention of forest and land fires across fire-prone villages around the company’s operations. The villages are Segati Village, Tambak Village, Rantau Baru Village, Lubuk Ogong Village and Bagan Lindau Village.
“Ahead of the second dry season in 2021, Asian Agri has signed the MoU for the Fire Free Village Program (FFVP) with partner villages. The FFVP started in 2016 with the aim of preventing forest and land fires, especially in the villages surrounding the company’s operations that are prone to forest and land fires. By joining the Asian Agri’s FFVP, the company will educate and support villages to understand the negative impact of forest and land fires, so that village communities can take active role in preventing fires,” said Herman Sembiring, Group Manager of PT Mitra Unggul Pusaka PT MUP).
“Today, we sign the MoU with five villages that are fire-prone villages. Through this Fire Free Village Program, we are optimistic that we can continue reducing the number of fires in villages, because this program will directly involve the community and it will be supported by village government officials and other relevant stakeholders,” said Herman.
Meanwhile, according to Hafiz Sinaga, Manager Fire Free Village Program, there are currently 10 villages that are members of the Asian Agri FFV Program, spread across Riau and Jambi Provinces.
Asian Agri is a plantation company that is part of the RGE (Royal Golden Eagle) group. RGE manages a group of resource-based manufacturing companies with global operations.
The Fire Free Village Program, which has proven to be effective in minimizing the occurrence of forest and land fires in villages, has also served as alternative income source for rural communities. The company has provided both assistance and cash incentives to the community to be able to use their land by clearing land without burning.
The Head of Segati Village, Syofian, expressed appreciation for the Fire Free Village Program and hopes other companies can have similar programs.
“We are grateful that in 2021, Asian Agri still remains consistent in inviting communities to jointly prevent forest and land fires. This year is the sixth year Asian Agri and village leaders have collaborated. As village officials, we strongly support fire-free activities and we hope this program can continue in our village which is very prone to forest and land fires. We hope that the Asian Agri Fire Free Village Program remains sustainable and can inspire other companies to also participate in the program, and realize a fire-free environment together,” said Syofian in his speech at the Fire Free Vilage Program MoU signing event on June 4, 2021 at the Segati Village office, Langgam sub-district, Pelalawan district, Riau Province.
The event was attended by the Head of Segati Village, Syopian; Head of Tambak Village, Nerwan S.pil; Group Manager PT MUP, Herman Sembiring; Manager Fire Free Village Program, Hafiz Hazalin Sinaga; Representative of the Fire Aware Community, Ronald Yamin; and Community Leader, Chandra. The event ended with the signing of the MoU for the Fire Free Village Program (FFVP) and a group photo.
About Asian Agri:
Asian Agri is one of Indonesia’s largest palm oil producers. Founded in 1979, the company today manages 100,000 hectares of plantation land and employs over 25,000 people. A pioneer of the Indonesian government’s Trans-National Government Migration (PIR-Trans) program, Asian Agri currently works with 30,000 Plasma Scheme smallholders in Riau and Jambi who operate 60,000 hectares of palm oil plantations, and independent smallholders who manage a total 41,000 hectares.
Implementing a strict “no burn” policy since 1994 and best practices in sustainable plantation management, Asian Agri has helped its smallholder partners improve productivity, yield and supply chain traceability, while assisting them obtain certifications. The company’s mills are technologically advanced and energy self-sufficient, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.
Asian Agri (PT Inti Indosawit Subur) is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) since 2006. More than 86% of its owned plantations in North Sumatra, Riau & Jambi provinces and 100% of Plasma Scheme smallholder plantations in Riau & Jambi provinces have been RSPO certified. All its owned plantations and those owned by scheme smallholders ISCC (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification) certified since 2014. In 2019, the company also achieved 100% ISPO (Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil) certification.
The company’s operations are ISO 14001 certified, while its Learning Institute and nursery research center in Riau province, Indonesia are both ISO 9001 certified. Asian Agri’s laboratory at the Center for Research and Development in Tebing Tinggi is accredited by the National Accreditation Committee under the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (ILAC MRA).