Beauty giant partners with RSPO to work directly with Indonesian palm oil farmers
US beauty giant Estée Lauder is working with Indonesian palm oil farmers to improve sustainability and boost working conditions, the firm announced today.
The three-year Project Lampung, which got underway in November 2018 but was formally announced today, aims to create a palm oil supply chain “free from deforestation and competitive in the global market”, Estee Lauder said.
Currently ‘sustainable’ palm oil, as certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), is more expensive to produce and buyers have proved reluctant to pay a premium, leading to around half of RSPO-certified palm oil being offloaded on the open market.
Project Lampung is a collaboration between US chemistry firm BASF, with global NGO Solidaridad, the RSPO, Business Watch Indonesia (BWI), and the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Extension (KTNA), a local farmers association.
Based in the province of Lampung on the island of Sumatra – the site of the first-ever palm oil plantation in 1911 – the project will provide a programme of education and technical support on sustainable palm oil practices for 1,000 local smallholders.
Partnering with the Indonesian government, it aims to ensure that at least one-third of the farmers are certified according to the RSPO’s Smallholder Standard within three years.
“We aim to develop long-lasting, trusting and mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers who share our strong values and demonstrate the same commitment to operating responsibly and ethically across all facets of business,” said Roberto Magana, SVP and chief procurement officer at The Estée Lauder Companies.