Kuala Lumpur, 23 May 2019 – Sime Darby Plantation Berhad (SDP) today launches ‘Crosscheck’, an open access online tool that allows everyone to trace sources of SDP’s palm oil supply down to the mill level. This latest effort by SDP represents a major step forward for the Company in its journey to create a deforestation-free supply chain.
As the leading producer of sustainable palm oil, SDP shares the concern that the rapid rate of deforestation has become an urgent challenge that calls for a meaningful response from various stakeholders.
“There is a worldwide concern that palm oil production is causing deforestation. Increasingly, major global customers require confidence that the palm oil they buy is not associated with deforestation. SDP believes the frontier to halting deforestation is traceability. Tracking supply back to its source will make it possible to identify where problems may exist, so that people can raise the alert for action to be taken. Crosscheck makes this possible for the very first time and it is an important step towards the full traceability of our supply chain,” said Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd Bakke Salleh, SDP’s Executive Deputy Chairman & Managing Director.
Crosscheck allows users to cut through the complexity of SDP’s current supply chain involving a large number of players, with a network of refineries sourcing from hundreds of mills, supplied from thousands of plantations and hundreds of thousands of smallholders.
According to Mohd Bakke, anyone who is concerned about preserving the world’s forests can use this tool to check whether palm oil is being sourced from high risk areas. This includes consumers who want to know that the products they buy are not contributing to deforestation; buyers who want to ensure that their brands are not linked to deforestation; investors who want assurance that their financing is not associated with deforestation and conversation groups who want evidence that the industry is taking meaningful action
By using Crosscheck, users can choose to view:
“We are launching Crosscheck in order to shed light where there is currently a shadow. We are not only providing the names and locations of the mills but we are going further to provide information on who owns them, on associated risk areas, and links to satellite data. It will allow anyone to check data about mill locations against risk and real events on the ground,” said Dr. Simon Lord, SDP’s Chief Sustainability Officer.
“This is just the beginning. Crosscheck is designed to develop further and add new information. We want to work in collaboration with NGOs and many others across the industry to make the most of Crosscheck as a tool to drive deforestation out of the palm oil industry,” added Dr. Lord.
As an online platform, Crosscheck is designed to incorporate more data and support new functionality over time. Throughout 2019, SDP intends to work with various stakeholders to explore potential new applications for Crosscheck and gather feedback on how the tool can be further improved. They will include SDP’s customers, investors as well as international NGOs, such as Conservation International (CI), whom have already indicated their interest to work with the Company on its new initiative.
“This is an important step towards supply chain traceability and transparency in palm oil, which is essential to drive deforestation out of the industry. We look forward to working with Sime Darby Plantation to further strengthen Crosscheck as a tool to conserve forests that are under threat,” said David McLaughlin, Senior Advisor Strategy, Conservation International.
For SDP, Crosscheck now becomes part of the Company’s sustainability journey that has seen the company adopting its Zero-burning pledge over 30 years ago, in addition to various other sustainability initiatives, including the Company’s No-Deforestation, No-Peat, and No-Exploitation (NDPE) policy, as well as its Responsible Agriculture Charter and Human Rights Charter.
According to Dr. Lord, Crosscheck strengthens SDP’s sustainability commitment further.
“SDP has in the past shared our various commitments towards responsible and sustainable production of palm oil. The urgency of the issue of deforestation requires a strong and decisive initiative and today, with Crosscheck, SDP offers what we believe to be part of the solution, towards a better palm oil industry,” said Lord.