[All redactions are made under art. 4(1)(b)]
Ref. Ares(2017)4938486 - 10/10/2017
Ref. Ares(2018)1650890 - 26/03/2018
KONIG Helena (TRADE);
Meeting with GAR/Sinar Mas, 4 October 2017 - Report
Sustainability PDF Preso 10AUG2017.pdf
(DG TRADE); A. Purnomo (Managing Director for sustainability and
strategic stakeholders engagement; Golden Agri Resources – GAR)
The meeting was held at the request of Sinar Mas, at the occasion of Mr Purnomo's visit to Brussels for a
series of meetings on palm oil (meetings with several DGs; participation in the workshop organised in the
framework of DG ENV's ongoing study on palm oil).
Mr Purnomo gave an overview of the activities by GAR/Sinar Mas, the 2nd largest palm oil producer
worldwide, and highlighted the company's engagement on sustainable palm oil production [powerpoint
presentation attached]. Besides a corporate sustainability policy (including environmental management
practices, social engagement, protection of workers' rights, work towards full traceability throughout the
supply chain by 2020, reporting and a public register of grievances), Mr Purnomo stressed the
importance of their ongoing R&D activities, expected to lead to a two- or three-fold increase of oil palm
productivity in the coming years, which would allow to meet increasing demand for palm oil with no
further expansion of the plantations. Mr Purnomo also noted that GAR/Sinar Mas work with all the main
certification schemes (RSPO, RSPO-RED, ISPO, ISCC), and refrained from commenting on whether one
scheme is preferable to others or on possible developments with ISPO.
Against this background, he stressed two key messages: (1) the private sector can deliver on any of the
concerns raised in the public opinion with regard to the sustainability of palm oil, problems arise when
there is no properly identified concern but only a general perception of palm oil being not sustainable;
(2) Sinar Mas is fully committed to ensure sustainability for palm oil, and does not think this should be
problematic in the EU-Indonesia FTA talks, but wants this to be pursued in a non-discriminatory manner
(i.e. for the whole vegetable oils sector) and is concerned about a perceived trend in the EU
public/political debate to target palm oil only.
asked about the envisaged milestones for the EU-Indonesia FTA talks.
DG TRADE confirmed that non-discrimination is a key principle for the EU trade policy and gave an
update on the EU-Indonesia FTA talks, noting the importance of ensuring that palm oil is properly
addressed, including with regard to sustainability considerations. DG TRADE also stressed that the FTA
talks were launched with a high level of ambition, to which the EU remains committed, and recalled that
a reform-oriented approach on the Indonesian side is essential in order to deliver on this objective.