KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 28 (Bernama) -- Sime Darby Plantation Bhd said it has submitted its action plan on the findings from an independent verification assessment to the Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) ahead of schedule.
This followed a letter it sent to the RSPO on Nov 17 which stated that the RSPO assessment team's findings “do not reflect the current state of the company's operations.”
The plantation company noted that the assessment team had identified violations of RSPO Standards, including the payment of unreported recruitment fees to agents, sub-agents or other third parties, and the retention of passports.
The plantation company said it has assessed and addressed the findings through the implementation of substantial revisions, improvements, and modifications of its policies and practices over a year ago.
“We take pride in our efforts over the last 18 months and share again the initiatives taken in relation to each of the items, which we trust, in many instances are above the RSPO principles and criteria requirements.
“We truly believe to achieve the RSPO’s vision of making sustainable palm oil the norm, using the theory of change, SDP has adopted continuous improvement efforts, including regular training and awareness initiatives, coupled with internal audits, verification, exercise, regular surveys of workers, the establishment of grievance channels and social dialogues as key enablers,” Sime Darby Plantation (SDP) told the RSPO in a letter dated Nov 25.
The RSPO had on Nov 14 asked SDP to complete an action plan over the next six months to address the weaknesses identified in its existing systems and processes.
The compliance subdivision of the RSPO Secretariat would be monitoring the implementation of the activities (the action plan) for six months, from December 2022 to May 2023.
RSPO had undertaken the assessment following the United States Customs and Border Protection’s withhold release order on all palm oil and products containing palm oil produced by SDP on Dec 30, 2020.
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