One fundamental reason for illegal logging is that forestry is the only source of income in many rainforest regions, and families there have been exploited. Asia Plantation Capital believes that the introduction of sustainable plantations is the answer.
and Ethical Practices
At Asia Plantation Capital, we aim to be both eco-friendly and ethical. We employ local labour in all our plantations, and pay substantially above the average annual wage rate in all the countries in which we operate. Staff work eight-hour days with ample rest periods, and in Sri Lanka we provide them and their families with free land to grow their own food. We also offer employees finance to help them purchase their own homes or improve their existing accommodation. Currently semi-skilled labour in Sri Lanka is deserting the land because of low wages and poor long-term prospects, but we at Asia Plantation Capital provide both above-average wages and a minimum of one-year contracts of employment.
and Pesticide Minimisation
On all our plantations we minimise the use of pesticides and chemicals, and our policy is only to use them if there is no alternative. We also operate a system of intercropping on the plantations, which is the planting of crops in between the trees during the early years to help provide cover and protection. The process introduces nutrients into the soil, which in turn help the trees develop, while also providing revenue and food for employees. This method is now widely utilised in ethical plantations all over the world. The cover crops we grow include peppers, chillies, gliricidia (a leaf protein) and carrots. All surplus food crops are sold in the local markets, providing extra income for our plantation workers.
HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Foundation
Teak Planting Project
APC is one of the sponsors of the ‘HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Foundation Teak Planting Project’ that was inaugurated in honour of the King of Thailand’s 84th birthday. This project aims to plant 8.4 million teak saplings throughout Thailand’s rural villages in honour of the King, allowing the teak trees to grow for the future benefit of the villages and rural communities.
APC is committed to sponsoring one village each month over the forthcoming year as part of this project, with an estimated cost of USD 6,190 (202,400 THB) per village. APC may eventually become one of the largest single benefactors of this scheme in Thailand. APC sponsored two villages, in Nakhon Nayok and Khao Yai National Park. The real benefit of this programme lies with the children who will be the generation that benefits from the future commercial value of the teak trees and the financial support these trees will provide for their communities.
APC has made a notable beneficial impact on the rural villages. Along with employment and a regular monthly salary, APC has also built houses on plantations to accommodate employees. Providing the opportunity for families to stay together in one area helps to ensure the benefit of an on-going education for their children (which will have a tremendous impact on their futures). It also allows many, previously split and impoverished families the chance, through their own hard work and efforts, to ensure a considerably better start for the young ones. APC also provides medical insurance and full back up facilities for all its employees and families.
APC has played a part in helping students thoughought Thailand in Malaysia. In Thailand, APC has donating school uniforms and new computers to Ban Najan School, Sakon Nakhon. The donation of new computers has helped revitalise the IT Department of Ban Najan School. With a fully equipped IT Department, the students from Ban Najan School can now benefit from the fully operating software and specialist educational programmes. APC has also donated football and other sports kits, furnished with the APC logo, to local clubs and teams.
In Malaysia, APC has launched a ‘Green School Programme’ as part of its ongoing commitment to holistic sustainability, aligned with its CSR projects and initiatives. The first of the four-day programmes, put together in collaboration with Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Pasir Gudang, ran from the 1st to the 4th of August 2016, at APC’s agarwood distillery and factory (the largest of its kind in the region) and was attended by the guest of honour, Yb Pn Hajjah Normala Abdul Samad, Member of Parliament for Pasir Gudang.
The groundbreaking event signified the beginning of a long-term collaboration between APC and the Johor state school, and, as well as teaching students about recycling and green practices, the programme also aims to educate the wider community on the dangers of flora extinction (in particular the Aquilaria tree species) and one of its many end products, agarwood.
APC has also instigated and commenced an industrial training programme in which it provides training for undergraduate students from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). To start the proceedings, each university is sending one student to the APC Johor facility for a period of three months, to fulfi l his or her industrial training requirements.