German chemical company BASF, personal care manufacturer The Estée Lauder Companies and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) are partnering with the civil society organisation Solidaridad to launch a sustainability project for palm oil and palm derivatives production in Lampung, Indonesia.

BASF said on 23 May that the project would support Indonesian smallholder farmers to improve their sustainable production of palm oil and palm kernel oil by offering education and technical support on implementing and maintaining sustainable palm oil practices.

The programme encompassed 1,000 independent Indonesian smallholder farmers.

The project’s target was that a minimum of one third of supported smallholder farmers would become certified according to the RSPO’s smallholder standard at the end of three years.

The partners were collaborating with the Indonesian government to foster a sustainable palm oil production supply chain in the Lampung province that would also be competitive in the global market, while increasing social and economic benefits for farmers.

“Approximately 40% of world palm production comes from smallholder farmers who rely on it for their livelihoods,” said Daniele Piergentili, vice president, Home and Personal Care at BASF in North America.

“The partnership with Estée Lauder, Solidaridad and RSPO enables us to support these farmers and, at the same time, increase the availability of sustainably-produced palm oil.”

Ashwin Selvaraj, head of the smallholder unit at the RSPO Secretariat said: “This collaborative project in Lampung is a great opportunity to scale up sustainable practices, protect natural resources and bring more smallholders under certification through RSPO Best Management Practices.”

Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil.