GAPKI Chairman: No Female Worker Exploitation in Palm Oil Industry

Press Release
Indonesian Palm Oil Association (IPOA)

GAPKI Chairman: No Female Worker Exploitation in Palm Oil Industry

JAKARTA –  The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) Chairman Joko Supriyono has ensured that there is no exploitation of female workers in the Indonesian palm oil industry. If there is any such case, it is a crime of woman harassment and the law enforcement  authorities will certainly take any necessary legal action as it may tarnish the public reputation of palm oil.

“We ensure that all member companies of GAPKI have already provided a decent and conducive working environment for the workers in palm oil plantations,” Joko Supriono said, in responding to the news report published on Thursday (19/11) by the Associated Press (AP), concerning the exploitation of female workers in palm oil industry.

Joko stated that all GAPKI’s member companies are committed to applying the sustainability principles, which are in line with the standard and criteria of  the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO). “GAPKI will keep pushing its members to fulfill the ISPO compliance,” said Joko.

Joko stated that  through collaborations with multiple sides, including the government institutions and international organizations on labor, GAPKI has been continually pursuing efforts of improving, promoting and implementing all aspects adopted within the concept of decent work. There are six agendas that have become the focus of attention of GAPKI and all of its partners: 1) worker status; 2) social dialog; 3) the protection of children and female workers; 4) wages; 5) health and work safety; and 6) surveillance by government.

GAPKI has collaborated with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and a number of Non-Governmental Organizations to establish a sustainable working condition in the palm oil industry.

Joko stated that members of IPOA would comply with prevailing regulations as stated in the Indonesian Labor Regulations. On the other hand, GAPKI will set the target for their members to fulfill the ISPO certifications by the end of 2021.

ISPO certification covers the legality requirements including the terms for worker’s health, safety and rights in order to ensure fair treatment to every worker. To achieve ISPO certification, a company must show that they provide a good labor management.

“The incident that has been described in the AP’s article is not something that the members of GAPKI can accept. We believe that if AP journalists visit the plantation of one of GAPKI members, they will find that female workers are given positive roles and chances,” explained Joko.

In the midst of Covid-19 pandemic, the palm oil exports have contributed the foreign exchange of US$15 billion until September 2020. The contribution of palm oil has enabled Indonesia to book a surplus in its balance of trade.  There are around 2.6 million people who are directly employed in the palm oil industry, and around 3 million people are indirectly employed workers or smallholders. Indonesia has a total 16.3 million hectares of oil palm plantations, of which around 7 million hectares or 43 percent are owned by smallholders. (*)

Jakarta, 19 November 2020
Indonesian Palm Oil Association (IPOA)

For further information, please contact:

Ir. Mukti Sardjono, M.Sc
Direktur Eksekutif GAPKI
Ph. 021-57943871, Fax. 021-57943872