No. 5

Welcome to the latest news from SHARP, a multi-stakeholder partnership that works with the private sector to support sustainable smallholder development while minimising deforestation.
SHARP highlights 2015
  • Implementation of the RSS framework in Indonesia, Honduras, Brazil and Ghana with 3 commodities, working with 4 companies, 3 independent smallholder groups and approximately 2000 smallholders
  • New set of RSS Field Guides available as an open-access resource on the SHARP website
  • Controlled field testing of HCV for smallholders approach in 4 different countries
  • Simplified HCV approach for independent smallholders with established plantations approved by RSPO
Meet Jose Marķa Madrid 
Jose Marķa is a Honduran farmer who has been engaged through the Responsible Sourcing from Smallholders (RSS) framework. We got the opportunity to interview Jose Marķa about his cultivation of oil palm and his thoughts on participating in the RSS process.  
How long have you been growing oil palm?  
I started 7 years ago. Before I had livestock and grew only food crops. I started growing oil palm because our land is close to the river and very vulnerable to flooding which destroyed many crops. Oil palm is resistant to floods and it is a stable crop which guarantees an income. 
What does responsible sourcing (RSS) mean to you? 
Responsible sourcing refers to best agricultural practices, good quality of the fruit and responsibility for how plantations are managed and agro-chemicals are applied. Best management practice requires wearing personal protection equipment, caring for the environment, compliance with workers' rights and protecting workers from any hazards on the farm. RSS also includes work on social development projects in our communities.  RSS helps us understand and implement what is required for effective certification for our plantations. It gives us hope to do things right.
Read the full interview Jose Marķa here
 Creating a platform for understanding smallholder development
A successful two-day workshop on models for palm oil smallholders was organised by SHARP's Regional Focal Point Rainforest Alliance in December in Accra. Among the 30 attendees were representatives from agro-industry and smallholder farmer cooperatives, as well as Ministry of Food and Agriculture, NGOs and development partner institutions. The workshop's theme was: 'Models for integrating independent smallholders into major supply chains for sustainability and improved productivity, income and livelihoods'. 
 The event served as a platform for stakeholders to better understand strategies for smallholder development and the application of SHARP tools, such as the RSS framework, to build working relationships between industry and independent smallholders.
Indonesian palm oil companies meet to discuss RSS
15 Indonesian palm oil companies came together for a seminar organised by SHARP Regional Focal Point SNV and the secretariat of the Indonesian Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP) in December in Jakarta. SNV's Dani Rahadian explained the RSS framework and discussed experiences from field implementation of RSS in two different contexts, firstly where an oil palm mill acted as Implementing Entity (IE), secondly where the IE was a farmer cooperative (see Dani's presentation in Bahasa here). The participants voiced common concerns around the barriers to certification, the need for support to invest in intensive smallholder production and the need for incentives to help smallholders improve production practices. Some of the companies now see that RSS offers a way forward to tackle these issues. Read the full story here
SHARP plans for 2016
SHARP will continue to develop practical open-source tools for companies to engage with their smallholder suppliers. Primary focus will be on the RSS framework, complemented by simplified HCV approaches for smallholders. Another key area will be to convene partnerships to scale up application of responsible sourcing from smallholders. SHARP will retain its global perspective, including work in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Ghana, Honduras and Brazil. The secretariat will continue to facilitate the flow of information and learning between partners to address smallholder integration in responsible supply chains.
Ongoing work to develop HCV approaches for smallholders 
One of the SHARP highlights for 2015 was the RSPO's approval of the simplified HCV approach for independent smallholders with established plantations. SHARP partners are now working on a parallel approach for smallholders looking to protect HCVs when expanding their plantations. This will use national level mapping of HCV probability as a starting point for assessing risk and defining acceptable practice to address RSPO principles and criteria. Read more about the simplified HCV approach here
RSS field guides ready for downloading
We are pleased to announce that the new field guides for the Responsible Sourcing from Smallholders framework are now available on the SHARP website. RSS provides a framework for companies to engage with their smallholder suppliers, on capacity building for better livelihoods and to control risks for clients and customers. Find English versions here. Spanish versions will be on the website in the next couple of weeks. Contact us for further information on how your organisation can adopt the RSS framework to engage with smallholder suppliers.
SHARP supporting Innovation Forum event 
SHARP is a supporting partner for a two-day multi-stakeholder conference organised by the Innovation Forum in March. The conference will address the major risks for smallholder farmers across agricultural sectors, and focus on how to create scalable solutions to tackle future supply chain vulnerabilities. SHARP will be present as moderator. Among the speaking organisations are TFT, Sime Darby, Mondelez and IDH, see the full list of participants here.  
You can join the conference by reserving your pass online
Productivity, Profitability and Sustainability of Central Kalimantan's oil palm value chain

A recent study by Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) maps the economic value and opportunities from the oil palm value chain in Central Kalimantan. The study highlights that there remain opportunities to improve productivity, profitability, and sustainability throughout the value chain. The study also illustrates challenges faced by Kalimantan's palm oil smallholders in managing investment, market, legality, and climate change risk. It suggests the right fiscal setting and targeted support are needed to enable smallholders to invest in improved productivity and sustainable practices, and proposes benefits from a landscape management approach, which could include increased coordination between smallholder cooperatives with downstream supply chain actors. It finds that in 2013, the value-added from oil palm upstream was approximately USD 1 billion, with USD 0.95-1.25 billion added midstream, and a further USD 30-31 million added downstream. 

Read the full report here.
Learn more about the SHARP partnership, our activities and lessons learned from the field