The production of palm oil makes up a large part of the Indonesian economy. Its many different uses make it an essential ingredient in a vast variety of everyday consumer products ranging from lipstick, to hold the colour, keep it from melting easily and to give its smooth appearance, to ice cream, which helps to make it smooth and creamy, to biodiesel, a renewable source of energy. Currently Indonesia is the world’s largest supplier of palm oil.
Asian Agri, founded by Indonesian businessman and entrepreneur Sukanto Tanoto, was established in 1979 as the palm oil branch of the global business group Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), founded by Sukanto Tanoto in 1972.
Asian Agri is one of Indonesia’s leading crude palm oil producers, with an annual production capacity of one million tons per annum. It manages 27 palm oil plantations and 20 palm oil mills, employing 25 000 workers throughout its operations.
The hard work and success of the company has led to it receiving ISO 14001 certification for each of its operations. The certification proves to stakeholders, consumers and staff that the company is aware of its environmental obligations and is constantly trying to reduce its environmental impact.
The Asian Agri Learning Centre and its training programme
In 2002 Asian Agri launched the Asian Agri Learning Centre (AALI) to train new generations of palm oil planters in environmentally friendly practices and sustainable cultivation and operations.
These trainees come from various parts of the Riau, Jambi and North Sumatra provinces, and are put through a six month informative and systematic training programme which introduces them to the basics of palm oil cultivation. All trainees receive a salary from Asian Agri during the training programme.
The programme teaches those wanting to create a future in the thriving Indonesian palm oil business the skills and knowledge needed to do so in a sustainable and environmentally responsible way.
AALI takes in around 100 trainees on an annual basis, and has successfully trained 2200 graduates up until now.