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Salim Ivomas Pratama (SIMP) officially resigned from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) membership on 8 January 2019. Previously, PT London Sumatera (Lonsum), a subsidiary of Salim Ivomas, withdrew from the association at the end of January 2019.

The withdrawal has ended SIMP’s membership since 2004 through Lonsum’s membership as its subsidiary, which SIMP followed suit in 2007.

SIMP, founded in August 1992, is a subsidiary of the business giant Indofood Sukses Makmur.

SIMP Sustainability Division Head Muhammad Waras, through a release received by The Palm Scribe, stated that his company did not question RSPO’s rules and sustainability criteria, but was disappointed by the RSPO’s decision to stop the operation of Lonsum’s production.

According to Waras, the RSPO Complaint Panel Session did not include sufficient evidence and time for SIMP to respond to the allegations against Lonsum. First, the Complaints Panel Session did not pay attention to SIMP’s comments on the audit report addressed to Lonsum. Second, SIMP’s attempts to hold a meeting with the Complaint Panel to discuss the report have been repeatedly denied. Third, the Complaint Panel did not reply to any questions regarding the verification audit carried out between the 4th and 6th June 2018.

Waras stated that moving forward, SIMP will continue its commitment and focus on carrying out sustainable production. “We will focus our sustainability journey and practices on the implementation of the mandatory Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) standards,” he said in the release.

Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil System (ISPO) is often referred to as the “Indonesian Version” of the RSPO. ISPO is a policy taken by the Indonesian Government aiming to increase Indonesia’s competitiveness in the world palm oil market while participating in fulfilling the Government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse emissions and paying attention to environmental issues.

ISPO was established in 2009 by Indonesia to ensure that all parties and oil palm entrepreneurs meet sustainable agricultural standards.

Responding to this, the RSPO Director Darrel Webber admitted that his party was late in responding to the statements from Lonsum and SIMP. Webber also explained that he had tried to communicate via e-mail or had a direct meeting but failed.

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