Dutch Banking Sector Agreement visits palm oil plantations in Indonesia

Representatives of parties and adhering banks to the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement recently visited Indonesia as a part of their efforts to map the palm oil value chain. The main purpose of this visit was to get workers on the plantations, trade unions and banks at one table to discuss with the direct stakeholders how the right information from plantations and mills could reach the banks in the most efficient way.

Palm oil plantations in Indonesia © SER

These discussions would also help building or improving the social dialogue on ground level.

Field trip

Labour unions CNV and FNV organised the fieldtrip as part of the value chain working group of the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement. The programme consisted of two visits to palm oil plantations in Sumatra. During these visits, the working group met with worker representatives of one plantation, visited a mill and visited several facilities on the plantations such as schools and a medical clinic. The delegation also paid a visit to the Dutch embassy in Jakarta, the local office of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the local civil society organisation TuK Indonesia, who advocate the fulfilment of people constitutional rights on environment, natural resource & human rights.

Value chain mapping

By signing the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement, adhering banks have committed to implement a human rights due diligence procedure in their corporate lending and project finance activities. Mapping high risk value chains – including the most severe human rights impacts in these chains – could help banks in implementing such human rights due diligence procedure. The palm oil value chain is the second value chain that the parties and adhering banks are mapping, last summer an analysis of the cocoa sector was published.