Olam is committed to developing our rubber plantations sustainably. Olam’s Plantations, Concessions and Farms Code (PCF) which is based on FSC®, RSPO and IFC performance standards builds further on our experience operating within international best practice requirements. We are fully committed to obtaining the social licence to operate through Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) with local communities and reducing our footprint through due diligence, impact monitoring and management.
Three social contracts have been signed, covering 24 villages in the rubber plantation areas of Bitam, Bikondom and Minvoul. Social contracts include commitments to contribute to:
- Recruitment of local population
- Social infrastructure
- Supporting small-scale agriculture
To date, Olam Rubber has created 1,382 jobs directly and we give priority to hiring locals, who make up 85% of the workforce and 19% are women.
During the maturity phase of a rubber plantation (approximately from the year 6th of planting), more skilled jobs will be available at rate of 1 worker for every 3-4 hectares planted.
Indeed, our long term success depends on ensuring local populations possess strong agricultural and agronomic skills. We are committed to providing gainful, stable employment, and training for populations with otherwise limited opportunities for growth. We also conduct on the job and classroom training for nursery management, plantation maintenance, and QEHS matters.
In terms of social investment we have allocated USD 9.6 million. This has already resulted in 625 solar lamps, 45 hydraulic pumps; road access for villages, and the rehabilitation of schools.
|Establishing solar panels||625|
|Bore wells construction and rehabilitation||45|
|Renovation of a health clinic||1|
|Road construction & resurfacing||203 km|
|Construction of meeting house||3|
|Construction of a market||1|
|Construction of houses for teachers/nurses||17|
|Construction and renovation of schools/classes||5|
In terms of land development, the ORG Rubber plantation is in an area of mixed logged and secondary forest, rattan scrub and long-abandoned farmlands. The plantable lands were determined following an independently conducted Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), vegetation mapping using LiDAR and ground truthing, comprehensive biodiversity surveys and participatory village mapping. Due to the relatively high surrounding population, local preference for bushmeat, and previous human uses including farming in this area, it is relatively poor in wildlife, with mammal densities in particular only a small fraction of those found in extensive old-growth forests or less-hunted secondary forests. Nevertheless, as a result of these surveys, fully 68% of the lease area has been set aside to conserve traditional village use areas, areas of high biodiversity value, wetlands and slopes, and remaining forest areas with relatively high carbon stocks as determined through calibrated LiDAR mapping.
Olam is also supporting the natural rubber industry in the development of an international sustainability standard. In January 2015, the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) launched the Sustainable Natural Rubber Initiative (SNR-i), which is a self-assessment standard covering five main criteria:
SNR-i Criteria and Indicators Version 1
- Criterion 1: Support Improvement of Productivity
- Criterion 2: Enhance Natural Rubber quality
- Criterion 3: Support forest sustainability
- Criterion 4: Water management
- Criterion 5: Respect Human & Labour Rights
Olam is a signatory to this SNR-i standard while working alongside IRSG and other industry stakeholders to improve and further develop the standard.
For more information go to www.snr-i.org/