Speech: Franky Oesman Widjaja

News 30, Apr 2018

Speech: Franky Oesman Widjaja

This speech was first presented by Franky Widjaja, Chairman and CEO, Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food, at ICOPE 2018 in Bali, on 25 April 2018 and has been modified slightly to fit the blog.


His Excellency, Bapak DarminNasution, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Republic of Indonesia;

His Excellency, Bapak NazirFoead, Head of the Peatland Restoration Agency;

Representatives of Diplomatic Missions to Indonesia;

Representatives of International Organisations;

Distinguished speakers, delegates, participants, ladies and gentlemen,

Om swastiastu and Good Morning.

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the sixth International Conference on Oil Palm and the Environment (ICOPE).

This year, ICOPE’s theme is: Embracing Sustainable Palm Oil: Solutions for Local Production and Global Change. Over the next three days, I hope we can discuss, share experiences and expertise, and develop solutions on how palm oil could contribute more to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals through sustainable palm oil production.

We all share concerns for the health of Mother Earth. We breathe the same air, have the same red blood, are born from our mother, not our father – so there is no difference between us.

The same goes for agriculture – if we want to be successful in the long term, we must care for the Earth

It is more important than ever for the industry to demonstrate both its commitment and achievementin terms of sustainable palm oil production.We can show that palm oil is playing its part to stop deforestation, deliver positive livelihoods and feed a growing world population in a sustainable manner.


Franky Widjaja, Chairman and CEO, Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food, speaking at ICOPE 2018 in Bali, on 25 April 2018.


More Palm oil companies have No Deforestation commitments – and are implementing them – than cattle, soy and timber and pulp, the other major drivers of deforestation.Palm oil was the smallest contributor to forest loss in 2016 – 10 times less forest thanwas cleared for cattle according to the Forest Trends Supply Change Report.

To make even greater progress we need to change our approach.

Sustainability can only be achievedwhen there isbalance between economic opportunity, environmental protection and social welfare. If we don’t look after the stomachs of people, then they will not look after the environment.

Big companies are expected to apply stringent rules andadd value through their own initiatives. Smallholders can onlymeet government requirements but are not empowered or enabled to do more.

This issue is at the heart of a sustainable palm oil sectorand is a key componentof the theme for ICOPE 2018 – Solutions for Local Production.

To achieve food security, we must deliver economic opportunity that is focused on enabling smallholder farmers.

In January, President Jokowi announced a campaign to distribute millions of land certificates to smallholders – these areessential to securing financial access. In addition, the Oil Palm Fund Management Agency (BPDP)has provided sufficient funds to support independent smallholder replanting in 2018.


Franky Widjaja, Chairman and CEO, Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food, presents a token of appreciation to Guest-of-Honour Darmin Nasution, Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, at the opening ceremony of ICOPE 2018.


Thank you to Pak Darmin Nasution and the Government of Indonesia for supporting these initiatives to empower smallholder farmers.These are exactly the kinds of solutions for local production that we need to scale up.

Our industry is best placed to meet the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s estimates of an extra 200 million tons of vegetable oils to feed a global population of nearly 10 billion in 2050.We can do so without causing harm to the Earth if we work together and act responsibly.

We support the formation of the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) to promote sustainable practices in the palm oil industry and to advocate on behalf of the industry.

It is essential that at ICOPE 2018 and beyond, we demonstrate how Palm Oil can be the solutionto many global challenges. That it can help protect forests thanks to its high yields, that it can deliver poverty alleviation and provide food security.

Thank you.