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Here's What This Local Company Is Doing To Empower Workers In Their Plantations

From due diligence to responsible recruitment, this company is making strides in upholding human rights.

Cover image via FGV Holdings Berhad

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Working in the oil palm plantation industry can be a tiring job, often involving physical labour and long hours under the sun.

Thankfully, companies like FGV Holdings Berhad (FGV) are committed to ensuring their workers' rights and well-being are safeguarded.

FGV is one of the world's largest producers of crude palm oil, accounting for 15% of Malaysia's total annual production of it. With over 50 years of industry experience, plantations are part of the company's core business sectors, alongside a continuous commitment towards sustainability.

In terms of sustainability, FGV focuses on three pillars, ranging from promoting economic growth and protecting the environment to respecting human rights. This includes empowering every worker that walks through their doors.

Here's a look at how FGV empowers workers in their plantations:

1. Responsible recruitment of migrant workers is a priority for FGV

FGV has made conscious efforts to review their processes and procedures relating to the recruitment of migrant workers. This is to make sure the company's practices are in line with ethical recruitment principles and standards.

One of the main aspects emphasised by FGV is the 'no recruitment fees' policy when hiring migrant workers. The stance taken by FGV is that all migrant workers shouldn't be charged any fees by any party once the recruitment process begins. In fact, FGV strictly prohibits their recruitment agencies from charging the workers any recruitment fees.

2. The company introduced the FGV App to provide convenience for workers

In this day and age, technology has revolutionised every aspect of our lives, from the way we communicate to the way we work. FGV has also utilised technology to transform their work process by introducing the FGV App.

It contains many features which enables workers to, among other things, submit their grievances. They can even record whatever they want to say in their own language and submit it through the app, and they can do this anonymously if they wish.

The app also comes with other functions, such as enabling them to seek emergency assistance, as well as access their payslips and other relevant information including training materials. Through the app, workers can also easily transfer money to their home country.

3. FGV has strengthened its due diligence process for the recruitment of workers

To further enhance their labour practices, FGV has strengthenedο»Ώ their existing due diligence process for the recruitment of workers. This includes selection of recruitment agencies, as well as capacity building for and monitoring of recruitment agencies to make sure they comply with responsible recruitment principles and standards.

4. FGV has set up Community Learning Centres (CLCs) for their plantation workers' children

FGV believes everyone has the right to access education, so that they can realise their full potential and participate meaningfully in society. The company has partnered with the Government of Indonesia through the Indonesian Consulate in Sabah to set up CLCs across FGV's plantations in Sabah.

These centres aim to provide alternative education for children of FGV's plantation workers who are not enrolled in public schools. Currently, there are 12 CLCs which are supported and jointly supervised by FGV and the Indonesian Consulate.

5. To provide a better living environment, FGV has invested heavily to improve housing for workers

FGV places great importance in providing comfortable accommodation for its workers, which includes access to an uninterrupted supply of electricity and water.

Between 2018 and 2022, FGV spent RM412 million on the construction of new accommodation and upgrading of facilities and equipment. FGV will continue to focus on enhancing housing facilities to ensure good living conditions for their workers.

6. Last but not least, FGV is advancing gender equality and women empowerment for employees

In line with its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) agenda, FGV established their Committee on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in 2021 to ensure an enabling environment for women in the company. This includes providing them with access to opportunities on the basis of equality and non-discrimination.

The Committee also strives to promote the education, training, and professional development of women employees, while ensuring that all internal capacity-building programmes are gender-sensitive.

Ultimately, at its core, FGV wants to protect the rights of their workers at all levels

At FGV, we believe that respecting human rights is not just the smart thing to do, but more importantly, it is the right thing to do.
FGV Holdings Berhad

FGV is committed to upholding internationally recognised human rights principles and standards in its operations and subsidiaries, as well as throughout its supply chain.

Interested to find out more? Read about FGV's efforts and initiatives in empowering workers' rights on their website today!

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