Nestlé & YSD together with Wild Asia Sow Seeds for Sustainable Palm Oil

To Press Releases listSukau,Dec 2, 2016

In line with its commitment to environment sustainability, Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad recently joined hands with Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) and Wild Asia to host the Hari Terbuka Pekebun Kecil Sawit Mampan Kinabatangan 2016 (Kinabatangan Sustainability Open Day for Oil Palm Smallholders 2016), with the aim of sharing best practices for sustainable palm oil with local farmers in the community.

The Open Day was collaboratively organised with Wild Asia under its Smallholders Group Scheme (WAGS), a multi-platform collaboration which aims to identify and support small producers in the Kinabatangan region, as part of Nestlé’s UpLeaf programme. A component of Project RiLeaf, a reforestation project by Nestlé and YSD along the lower Kinabatangan River, the UpLeaf programme aims to minimise the environmental footprint of oil palm and encourage Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)-certified fresh fruit bunch (FFB) production among local oil palm smallholders.

Eliza Mohamed, Director of Group Corporate Affairs for Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad, said, “Water and the environment continue to be key focus areas of Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value philosophy, as they are vital to our business as well as to the welfare of the community. Project RiLeaf reflects our commitment to restore the ecosystem of the Kinabatangan River to enable people, nature and oil palm agriculture to co-exist through the shared resource of water. Since 2011, Project RiLeaf has planted over 480,000 trees covering over 2,300 hectares of forest.”

“Through the UpLeaf programme, we regularly engage with oil palm smallholders in the Kinabatangan area to raise awareness on the value of sustainable palm oil, as well as educating them on best agricultural practices for RSPO certification. Not only does this help to ensure a secure supply of certified sustainable palm oil, which is part of Nestlé’s commitment towards responsible sourcing, it is also better for the environment along the entire value chain.”

Caroline Christine Russell, YSD Governing Council Member, commented, “We believe creating awareness on sustainability is a crucial element while at the same time undertaking reforestation of the critical riparian areas of the lower Kinabatangan River. Project RiLeaf’s sub component, the UpLeaf programme aims to do exactly that; educate the local oil palm smallholders in practicing sustainable agriculture activities.”

“It is our wish to see that with the UpLeaf programme, Project RiLeaf will be well underway to restore and save the Kinabatangan River. YSD has invested heavily in conservation projects in Sabah, much more than in any other state in Malaysia. We hope that all these efforts to create awareness, preserve and conserve the environment will not be in vain,” Caroline added.

The Open Day brought together speakers from the sustainable palm oil industry to share their insights and expertise, namely Mr Dean Ismail, Regional Programme Coordinator for WildAsia, Mr. Mahathir Awang Bangsa, Research Officer from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), Dr. Mohd Rakib Mohd. Rashid from the Faculty of Sustainable Agriculture, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Mr. Ong B.B, an experienced planter from OTT Consultant, Mr. Mohamad Ishak, General Manager, Plantation Sustainability and Quality Management Department, Sime Darby Plantation, as well as two representatives from WWF-France and Bel Dairy who spoke about how palm oil derivatives are used in end products.

Benefitting from the informative session were farmers under the UpLeaf programme (also known as WAGS-Kinabatangan), comprising over 90 RSPO-certified farmers and farmers undergoing the group certification process for this year. Other farmers and members of the public from the Kinabatangan region also took part in the Open Day, with over 300 visitors in total.

Mr. Awang Sina, an oil palm smallholder from Gomantong Jaya, said, “This workshop by Nestlé and Yayasan Sime Darby has been an eye-opener for me. It has been very useful and has showed me that there are great opportunities in the palm oil industry, especially with sustainable practices which can benefit my farm as well as the environment.”

About Project RiLeaf

The initiative encourages smallholders to minimise oil palm’s environmental footprint by reducing water pollution from soil sedimentation as well as agricultural fertiliser run-offs. The local communities including Komuniti Anak Pokok Kinabatangan (KAPOK) and HABITAT assist with providing indigenous seedlings for reforestation, local contractors for demarcation, planting and maintenance work. As full members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Project RiLeaf is also utilised as a platform for both Nestlé and Sime Darby Foundation to encourage the development and procurement of sustainable palm oil. Project RiLeaf includes collaboration with other stakeholders such as Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Oil Palm Smallholders & Plantations, Sabah State Government and the local communities.

About Nestlé Malaysia

As the leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company, Nestlé Malaysia has a long-standing commitment towards Creating Shared Value in line with our vision of delivering Good Food, Good Life to all. For more information on our initiatives, please visit You can also find out more on our efforts regarding Water and the Environment here:

About Yayasan Sime Darby

Yayasan Sime Darby is the philanthropic arm of Sime Darby Berhad and undertakes projects in five pillars; Education, Environment, Community & Health, Youth & Sports and Arts & Culture. For more information, please visit

About WAGS Kinabatangan

WAGS Kinabatangan is a group scheme comprising small farmers within the Kinabatangan region in Sabah, a landscape region rich in culture, biodiversity and ecological functions. Today the project is supported by multiple partners that provide links to global markets. Find out more about our work with these farmers at:

For more information, please contact:

Maxine Lim
Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad
Tel: (+603) 7965 5185

Joanne Lim or Yasmin Kadir
acorn communications
Tel: (+603) 7958 8348