1 October 2020

FGV Holdings Berhad (“FGV”) refers to the Withhold Release Order (WRO) issued by the United States Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) against palm oil and palm oil products made by FGV.

FGV would like to emphasise that all issues raised have been the subject of public discourse since 2015 and FGV has taken several steps to correct the situation. FGV’s efforts are well documented and available in the public domain.

FGV is disappointed that such decision has been made when FGV has been taking concrete steps over the past several years in demonstrating its commitment to respect human rights and to uphold labour standards. As mentioned in our statement dated 26 September 2020, various efforts have been carried out by FGV in honouring such commitment, including the following:

i. FGV continues to strengthen its procedures and processes in the recruitment of migrant workers. FGV has established four One-Stop Centres in Malaysia and in source countries namely in India and Indonesia, as part of our efforts to strengthen the pre-departure and post-arrival orientation programmes for our migrant workers. Through these orientation sessions, our migrant workers are briefed on various matters including the terms of their employment, job scope and nature of work, rights and responsibilities, as well as benefits and entitlements.

ii. FGV has also adopted its Guidelines and Procedures for the Responsible Recruitment of Migrant Workers in 2019 in accordance with international standards and will continue to strengthen the document. Under the Guidelines, FGV is committed to paying official costs associated with the recruitment of migrant workers, which include airfare and costs for work permit, visa, medical check-up and insurance. FGV has also revised its contract with recruitment agencies to require them to ensure that no fees are charged on the workers.

iii. FGV is not involved in any recruitment or employment of refugees. Effective 2020, FGV recruits its migrant workers mainly from India and Indonesia through legal channels and processes recognised and approved by the authorities of Malaysia and the source countries. As of August 2020, FGV has 11,286 Indonesian workers and 4,683 Indian workers, who together, form the majority of FGV’s plantation workforce. Furthermore, FGV does not hire contract workers and all workers are employed directly by FGV.

iv. FGV is also pioneering the implementation of the electronic wallet (e-wallet) cashless payroll system for its plantation workers. The e-wallet system, which gives empowerment to the workers, acts as a more convenient and efficient way for workers to manage their finances, was successfully rolled out since February 2020 in Gua Musang, Kelantan, involving 1,500 registered users in 11 of its estates. By first quarter 2021, FGV aims to implement this system for its entire plantation sector including estates in Sabah and Sarawak.

v. FGV does not practice the retention of its workers’ passports and has installed a total of 32,250 safety boxes throughout all its 68 complexes, as an option for migrant workers to keep their passports safely.

vi. In fulfilling the rights of workers to adequate housing, FGV has over the past three years, invested approximately MYR350 million to upgrade housing facilities for its workers by constructing new residences in our plantations all over the country.

vii. FGV respects workers’ right to healthcare through the benefits provided, which cover annual expenses for outpatient care and an unlimited allocation for inpatient treatment.

viii. Mindful that human rights and sustainability standards must be fulfilled throughout our supply chain, FGV has adopted a Supplier Code of Conduct (SCOC), outlining the principles and standards relating to sustainability; business ethics and integrity; safety, health and environment; and labour, with which our suppliers and vendors are required to comply. Any supplier or vendor that do not comply with the SCOC will be subjected to FGV’s Supplier Delinquency Guidelines, with the possibility of being suspended or terminated and blacklisted should they fail to demonstrate willingness to rectify gaps in their practices.

It is worth reiterating that FGV does not tolerate any form of human rights infringements or criminal offense in its operations. FGV pays serious attention to any allegation of physical or sexual violence as well as intimidation or threats, and as a responsible company any case of such nature will be acted upon by FGV including by reporting them to the relevant authorities.

Recognising that respecting human rights is a continuous endeavour, FGV became a participating company of the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and is currently implementing a long-term and comprehensive action plan under its affiliation to the Fair Labor Association (FLA) that comprises a number of initiatives to further strengthen various aspects of our labour practices such as our recruitment process, human rights training programmes, working and living conditions, as well as grievance mechanisms, among others. FGV’s action plan for 2020 was adopted on 31 March 2020 in consultation with the FLA and with various other stakeholders including civil society organisations (CSOs).

The action plan was adopted at a time when the COVID-19 situation was rapidly worsening globally, including in Malaysia. Despite the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced FGV to realign its priorities to ensure that necessary measures are taken to curb and combat the spread of COVID-19, FGV remained committed to implementing the action plan, and FGV believes that concrete progress has been made in the six months of implementation beginning April 2020. FGV is confident that it is on the right track to be able to accomplish the action items due to be completed by the end of 2020.

FGV’s affiliation to the FLA is subject to a rigorous validation exercise and public reporting. FLA’s report on FGV’s progress on the implementation of the action plan is published on FLA’s website. 

Since August 2019, FGV been communicating with CBP through our legal counsel and have submitted evidence of compliance of labour standards as committed by FGV. It will continue to engage with CBP to clear FGV’s name, and is determined to see through its commitment to respect human rights and uphold labour standards.

FGV Holdings Berhad

FGV Holdings Berhad (“FGV”) merujuk kepada Perintah Pelepasan Tahan (WRO) yang dikeluarkan oleh United States Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) terhadap minyak dan produk sawit keluaran FGV.

FGV ingin menekankan bahawa semua isu yang dibangkitkan telah menjadi bahan wacana umum sejak tahun 2015 dan FGV telah mengambil beberapa langkah untuk membetulkan keadaan. Usaha FGV ini didokumentasikan dengan baik dan tersedia di domain awam.

FGV kecewa kerana keputusan tersebut telah dibuat sedangkan FGV telah mengambil langkah konkrit dalam beberapa tahun kebelakangan inibagi menunjukkan komitmennya dalammenghormati hak asasi manusia serta menjunjungtinggi standard pekerja. Seperti yang dinyatakandalam kenyataan kami bertarikh 26 September 2020, pelbagai usaha telah dijalankan oleh FGV bagi menghormati komitmen tersebut, termasuk yang berikut:

i. FGV akan terus memperkasa prosedur dan prosesnya dalam pengambilan pekerja migran. FGV telah menubuhkan empat Pusat Sehenti di Malaysia dan di negara sumber seperti di India dan Indonesia, sebagai sebahagian daripada usaha untuk memperkukuhkan program orientasi sebelum pelepasan dan ketibaan pekerja migran kami. Melalui sesi orientasi ini, pekerja migran diberikan penerangan mengenai pelbagai perkara termasuk syarat pekerjaan mereka, skop pekerjaan dan sifat pekerjaan, hak dan tanggungjawab, serta faedah dan kelayakan.

ii. FGV juga telah menerapkan Prosedur dan Garis Panduan untuk Pengambilan Pekerja Migran yang Bertanggungjawab pada tahun 2019 sesuai dengan standard antarabangsa dan akan terus mempertingkatkan lagi kandungan dokumen tersebut. Di bawah Garis Panduan ini, FGV komited untuk menanggung kos yang berkaitan dengan pengambilan pekerja migran yang meliputi permit kerja, visa, pemeriksaan kesihatan sertainsurans. FGV juga telah menyemak semula kontrak dengan agensi pengambilan pekerja bagi memastikan tiada sebarang bayaran dikenakan ke atas pekerja terbabit.

iii. FGV juga tidak terlibat dalam pengambilan ataumenggaji pelarian. Berkuatkuasa tahun 2020, FGV hanya mengambil pekerja migran dari India dan Indonesia menerusi proses serta saluran yang sah, diperakui dan diluluskan oleh pihak berkuasa Malaysia dan negara sumber. Sehingga Ogos 2020, FGV mempunyai seramai 11,286 orang pekerja Indonesia dan 4,683 pekerja India yang juga merupakan tenaga kerja terbesar di ladang-ladang FGV.  

iv. FGV juga menjadi perintis bagi pelaksanaan pembayaran tanpa tunai secara dompet elektronik(e-wallet) bagi pekerja-pekerja ladang. Menerusi aplikasi e-wallet ini, ia memberi kelebihan kepada pekerja untuk menguruskan kewangan mereka dengan lebih cekap dan selesa sejak ia dilaksanakan pada Februari 2020 di Gua Musang, Kelantan dengan membabitkan kira-kira 1,500 orang pekerja di 11 buah ladang. Menjelang suku tahun pertama 2021, FGV menyasarkan untuk melaksanakan sistem ini ke seluruh sektor perladangannya termasuk di Sabah dan Sarawak.

v. FGV tidak mengamalkan penyimpanan passport pekerja malah telah menyediakan sebanyak 32,250 buah peti simpanan passport di seluruh 68 buah kompleks sebagai langkah pilihan kepada pekerja untuk menyimpan passport mereka dengan selamat.

vi. Dalam memenuhi hak-hak pekerja terhadap perumahan, FGV dalam tempoh tiga tahun ini telah melabur hampir RM350 juta bagi menaiktaraf kemudahan perumahan dengan membina kediaman baharu di ladang-ladang kami di seluruh negara.

vii. FGV juga menghormati hak pekerja terhadap kesihatan menerusi manfaat yang disediakan dan ini termasuklah menanggung perbelanjaan tahunan bagi rawatan pesakit luar selain peruntukan tanpa had untuk rawatan di hospital.

viii. Menyedari bahawa hak asasi manusia dan standard kelestarian perlu dipatuhi menerusi rantaian bekalan, FGV telah menerap Kod Tatalaku dan Amalan Pembekal (SCOC), yang menggariskan prinsip-prinsip dan standard tertentu yang melibatkan kelestarian; etika dan integriti perniagaan, keselamatan, kesihatan dan pekerjaan; serta buruh yang perlu dipatuhi oleh pembekal dan vendor kami. Mana-mana pembekal atau vendor yang gagal mematuhi SCOC bakal berdepan dengan “Garis Panduan Salah LakuPembekal FGV” yang berkemungkinan boleh digantung, disingkirkan atau disenaraihitamsekiranya mereka gagal memperbetulkan kesilapan yang berlaku dalam amalan mereka.

FGV mengulangi pendirian untuk tidak bertolak ansur dengan mana-mana pelanggaran hak asasi manusia atau kesalahan jenayah di dalam operasinya. FGV memandang serius terhadap mana-mana dakwaan keganasan fizikal atau seksual mahupun intimidasi atau ancaman. Sebagai sebuah syarikat yang bertanggungjawab, sebarang tindakan tersebut akan diambil tindakan termasuklah melaporkannya kepada pihak berkuasa.

Menyedari bahawa menghormati hak asasi manusia merupakan usaha yang berterusan, FGV telah menjadi syarikat yang mengambil bahagian di dalam Fair Labor Assosiation (FLA) dan kini sedang melaksanakan pelan tindakan komprehensif jangka panjang di bawah kerjasama ini. Menerusi FLA, terdapat beberapa inisiatif bagi memperkukuhkan lagi pelbagai aspek amalan perburuhan seperti proses pengambilan, program latihan hak asasi manusia, persekitaran kerja dan tempat tinggal di samping mekanisma aduan. Pelan tindakan FGV 2020 telah digunapakai pada 31 Mac 2020 menerusi rundingan khidmat nasihat yang diberikan oleh FLA serta pelbagai pihak pemegang taruh seperti organisasi kemasyarakatan awam (CSOs).

Pelan tindakan ini telah digunapakai ketika situasi pandemik COVID-19 melanda dunia termasuk di Malaysia. Disebalik cabaran pandemik yang belum pernah dialami ini, FGV telah membuat jajaran semula keutamaannya bagi memastikan langkah-langkah wajar diambil bagi memerangi dan mengekang penularan COVID-19. FGV kekal komited melaksanakan pelan tindakan dan yakin perkembangan konkrit telah dibuat sepanjang enam bulan tempoh pelaksanaannya bermula April 2020. FGV yakin berada di landasan yang betul untuk mencapai butiran tindakan yang dijangka selesai pada hujung tahun 2020.

Kerjasama FGV dengan FLA ini tertakluk kepada tugas pengesahan yang ketat dan pelaporan awam. Laporan FLA terhadap perkembangan pelaksanaan pelan tindakan ini disiarkan di laman sesawang FLA.

Sejak Ogos 2020, FGV telah berhubung dengan CBP menerusi Penasihat Undang-undang dan telah mengemukakan bukt-bukti pematuhan standard perburuhan seperti yang dijanjikan. FGV juga akan meneruskan sesi libat urus dengan CBP bagi membersihkan nama dan berazam untuk melihat menerusi komitmen kami dalam menghormati hak asasi manusia serta menjunjung standard perburuhan.


FGV Holdings Berhad