TEBO, INDONESIA – Media OutReach – 22 June 2021 – In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Asian Agri remains committed to preventing forest and land fires in the villages around company’s operational areas.
“In spite of the pandemic, Asian Agri business unit PT Rigunas Agri Utama (PT RAU), remains committed to implementing the Fire Free Village Program (FFVP) in participating villages to prevent fires. Today (9/6), there are five villages signing the FFVP MoU: Teriti Village, Tuo Sumay Village, Muara Sekalo Village, Suo-Suo Village, and Semambu Village. Through the FFVP, the company works closely with village officials, government agencies, TNI and Polri to assist and support fire prevention activities and provide firefighting assistance where required by the villages,” said Bibit Sembiring, Estate Manager of PT RAU, Kebun Bungo Tebo. He was accompanied by Hafiz Hazalin Sinaga, Manager of the Asian Fire Free Village Program. Hafiz added that Asian Agri started the Fire Free Village Program in Jambi in 2017 to great success.
“Asian Agri is a plantation company that is part of the Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) group, which manages a group of resource-based manufacturing companies with global operations. We always strive to benefit the community and the environment where we operate. One of our many efforts is the Fire Free Village Program, which raises awareness in the village communities on the dangers of forest and land fires, equipping them with the knowledge and resources to prevent forest and land fires in their villages,” said Hafiz. RGE was founded by Sukanto Tanoto, and will celebrate its 55th anniversary in 2022.
“The Fire Free Village Program started in Jambi in 2017, has proven effective in preventing forest and land fires. Prior to the program, the average fire size in the village was 20 hectares. However, since joining the Fire Free Village Program, there are two completely fire-free villages, namely Muara Sekalo Village and Teriti Village. Meanwhile, in Tuo Sumay Village, Semambu Village and Suosuo Village, fires have decreased considerably, at around 2 hectares per year. This achievement earned the five villages awards from the Tebo Police Chief in 2020,” Hafiz added at the MoU signing event for the DBA Program at the PT RAU office, Sumay District, Tebo Regency.
The Head of Suosuo Village, Urista, expressed appreciation for the success of PT RAU’s Fire Free Village Program, and hoped the FFVP would continue and that his fire-prone village will remain fire-free.
“We thank the Manager of PT RAU for guiding us in preventing forest and land fires. Thanks to the Fire Free Village Program, the number of fires in our village have greatly reduced. We hope this program can continue to be in place and grow, especially in terms of monitoring and establishing monitoring posts in fire-prone locations, considering the size of the forest and potential fire-risk locations in our village,” said Urista.
The MoU signing ceremony was attended by the Estate Manager of PT RAU, Bibit Sembiring; Asian Agri Fire Free Village Manager, Hafiz Hazalin Sinaga; PMKS PT RAU Manager, H Purba; Public Relations of PT RAU, Bastari; Head of Tuo Sumay Village, Hazri; Teriti Village Head, Raden Sofli; Chief Des Suosuo, Urista; Head of Muaro Sekalo Village, Suherman; Head of Semambu Village, Akmal; Fire Care Society, Bukhari, Raden Kamal, Saipul, Edi, Ade Chandra, and TNI, Kopda Julhendri.
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).