One of the challenges for many commodity-related industries is ensuring that global standards do not marginalise small producers. Wild Asia pioneered a scheme for small palm oil producers through a programme called Wild Asia Group Scheme for Small Producers or WAGS.
WAGS was created to address the challenges faced by independent small farmers by providing the necessary technical assistance, training and capacity building for small farmer groups. The focus is to help them improve their farming practices and support them towards reaching international standards (for example, RSPO).
Today, after more than 500 small farmers have been supported, including our experience with RSPO Group Certification, we have now a better understanding of not only the challenges of small producers but how to work with the many palm oil supply chain actors (from dealers, traders to Mills, Refiners and Buyers). It is with this experience that we continue to build our programme to broaden the inclusion of more small producers in global supply chains. Our goal is to see the models we have created with producer partners here in Malaysia, expand to other palm oil growing regions across the world.