The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) wants the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil System (ISPO) to be a tool for negotiating palm oil trade in the global market. To that end, the government should continue to increase overseas promotion by cooperating with non-profit institutions in palm oil field, so that ISPO will be better known in the international world. Chairman of GAPKI, Joko Supriyono said, Indonesian oil palm will always face issues or trade barriers, both tariff and non-tariff. Although, oil palm companies and plantations in Indonesia have been increasingly active in applying sustainable principles that are marked by the success of companies and farmers to obtain a certificate of sustainability, one of which is the ISPO certificate. Joko explained that the benefit desired by the national palm oil entrepreneurs on the ISPO implementation is not an exaggeration. Oil palm plantation companies in Indonesia merely want the ISPO to be a tool for negotiating global palm oil trade; this is the only way for the government to secure the oil palm trade in the international market. GAPKI expects the government to negotiate with importing countries on oil palm issues that have become a trade issue. For example, import tariff policies imposed by the United States (US), India and the European Union (EU) on palm oil and palm oil products of Indonesia.
Director General of Plantation from The Ministry of Agriculture, Bambang said, as of August 29th 2017, 306 ISPO certificates have been given to 304 oil palm companies, one plasma farmers association, and one independent farmers’ cooperative. The total area of ISPO certified oil palm plantation reaches 1.88 million hectares (ha) and the crude palm oil (CPO) production reaches 8.15 million tons per year. Bambang said, the ministry is currently focusing on encouraging all palm oil companies to follow the ISPO certification program as one of the efforts to strengthen the sustainable palm oil sector. Therefore, Indonesian palm oil products will be increasingly accepted in the international market as well as having a high bargaining position in the export market. Moreover, palm oil products have currently contributed Rp 239.40 trillion for the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
According to the Head of ISPO Commission Secretariat, Aziz Hidayat, until now, there are only 551 companies which have applied for ISPO certification. According to GAPKI, their members are around 700 companies and if combined with small-scale plantations, there should be a total of 1,200-1,300 oil palm companies and plantations. As of August 29th, 2017, new certificates were issued for 304 companies, one plasma farmers’ cooperative, and one independent farmers association. Aziz explained that 40 ISPO certificates given on August 29th, 2017 cover a land of 202,427.17 ha with 539,265.88 tons of CPO production. Earlier, in April 2017, 40 ISPO certifications were granted for 38 plantation companies, one plasma farmers cooperative, and one independent plantation association covering a total area of 249,543.37 ha with 861,425.82 tons of CPO production.