Group Mission and Management Plan

Asia, Carotino, Melewar and Takon production units are all members under J C Chang Group of companies with commercial interests in plantations, palm oil mills and downstream processing activities.

Our Group mission is to strive for continuous improvements in mill and plantation performance and profitability through management procedures and operations which are economically viable, environmentally appropriate and socially beneficial.

The vision of the Group is to balance the 3Ps considerations of People, Planet and Profit in all its management decisions and operations in order to achieve the goal of sustainable profitability in tandem with sustenance of progressive social and environment developments. The implementation of a Plantation Management Plan (PMP) based on and guided by the Principles and Criteria of RSPO, ISCC and MSPO will provide the framework to achieve these goals.

In line with Sustainability Principles and Criteria, besides complying to all applicable national and international laws and regulations, the Group also emphasizes on safe, healthy and viable working environment to improve upon its overall operational efficiency in order to ensure long term economic viability in its PMP.

As a commitment to achieve this goal, we plan to focus more attention in the development of its employees through various training programmes to improve their knowledge, skills and competency so as to enhance their productivity, performance, job satisfaction and career advancement.

Environmentally, the Group plans to continuously upgrade its management practices and operations to ensure the long term fertility and viability of its land resources to sustain crop productivity through :

  • Reducing and preventing soil erosion to preserve soil fertility.
  • Conserving and maintaining the quality of surface and ground water.
  • Minimizing the use of agro-chemicals through integrated pest management.
  • Preventing pollution through minimizing emissions to air, land and water.

 

Environmental Considerations and Initiatives

In line with our Group’s conscious efforts to promote and incorporate various environmental considerations in its mill and plantation operations, the numerous environmental management initiatives that have been and will be adopted are as follows :

1.  Soil Erosion Management

Apart from the conventional practice of terracing on rolling to hilly terrains to control soil erosion, the cultivation of leguminous cover crop is now a standard practice in all replanting programmes. Once it is well established, the cover crop will effectively suppress the growth of any woody or other noxious growths in the interrows, thus minimizing the use of herbicides in the field. In mature fields, soft grasses and low herbaceous broadleaves are well maintained in the palm interrows to reduce surface soil erosion by avoiding the prevalence of barren ground conditions. The effort to re-establish the riparian buffer zones has been intensified and implemented to conserve the river banks and to develop them into future natural corridors for the proliferation of wildlife and other biodiversities to enhance the ecological balance in the plantations.

2.  Integrated Pest Management

As an IPM approach to reduce the use of pesticides, barn owl nesting boxes are erected in the fields (West Malaysia) for the avian to breed and increase its numbers so that rat population can be constantly suppressed and controlled within the economic tolerant levels. The planting of predator host plants such as Cassia cobanensis, Antigonon leptopus and Tunera subulata is also widely practiced to promote the proliferation of natural enemies for the control of bagworms and nettle caterpillars so as to minimize the need to use chemical control. The breeding and spread of Oryctes rhinoceros beetles in replantings are suppressed through proper trunk chippings management, planting of cover crop and the planned application of Metarrhizium fungi which has been proven efficacious for its control.

3.  Waste Management

While empty fruit bunches (EFB) are recycled back to the fields as a form of organic manure, digested palm oil mill effluent (POME) will be aerobically treated by Effluent Tertiary Plant (ETP) to reduce its Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) to levels within the permissible level for land application. Other mill by-products such as mesocarp fibre and kernel shells are used as boiler fuels to generate power for the whole mill operations with excess to cater for the plantation’s need. Used lubricants are properly collected, stored and disposed through licensed collectors for recycling. Similarly, used chemical containers are triple rinsed, perforated and disposed through a recycling progamme for the production of non-food plastic products for agricultural use.

4.  Pollution Management

Zero-burning technique in replanting has been adopted since the first replanting in our group started in 1997. Under this technique, all the old and difficult-to-harvest tall palms are felled and shredded. Subsequently, the chips are evenly and well spread out in alternate interrows by excavators to return the organic matters to the soil and to avoid air pollution through non-burning. Not only it contributes to a cleaner and greener environment, it enhances soil fertility and improves the physico-chemical properties of the soils. This technique helps to reduce the breeding sites for the Oryctes rhinoceros beetles and regulates the slow return of nutrients to the palms.

5.  Other Environment Management Initiatives

In order to manage our nurseries in a more environmental friendly manner, individual polybag drip irrigation system will be installed for watering main nursery seedlings to replace the conventional tube irrigation system. Besides reducing water usage by 80%, the drip irrigation affords significant energy saving due to the much shorter time needed to run the water pump for delivering the smaller volume of effective water to drip irrigate the seedlings. With this system, prophylactic sprayings of fungicides and insecticides can be reduced as the seedling foliage is not wetted twice daily as in conventional irrigation systems. The lesser weed regeneration on the drier ground will help to reduce the usage of herbicide in the nursery.

 

Social Considerations and Initiatives

Appropriate emphasis has been and will be focused on various social considerations in the mill and plantations to bring about immediate and long term benefits to the workers, staff and other stakeholders as well as the organization as a whole in order to ensure long term sustainability.

1.  Housing and Basic Amenities

In all our mills and plantations, adequate housing, electricity and water supplies, social and leisure amenities, playgrounds, places of worship, community halls and medical facilities are provided. Over the years, besides upgrading the plantation and mill offices, more units of new houses with improved designs were also added for staff and workers. Old staff and workers’ quarters were also being progressively renovated and upgraded over the last few years to provide more comfortable living conditions for the staff and workers.   

2.  Employment of Workers

All workers are checkroll employees who are directly employed, managed, supervised and taken care of by the Managements to realize the objective of all round better human resource management for greater operation efficiency and productivity. Being an on-going process, technical as well as safety trainings in various aspects of plantation and mill operations will continue to be conducted regularly to improve the workers’ awareness, knowledge, efficiency and productivity with greater emphasis on safety and health aspects. All along we never engage in or support the use of any forms of forced labour or child labour in all our operations and administrations.

3.  Rights of Employees

As a means to enable workers and other stakeholders to be heard by the Managements with regards to their welfare, work related matters and other social issues, all operation centers have now set up Joint Consultative Committee, Gender Committee and provide suggestion boxes as official platforms for workers and other stakeholders to raise any social issues of concern to them. Documents on sexual harassment, complaints and grievance procedures have also been developed to provide standard guidelines to the Managements to deal with cases of sexual harassment or grievances. While our policy of equal opportunity will ensure staff and workers will not be discriminated in any ways or forms, their freedom to associate with any legal or recognized organizations will be permitted by the Managements.

4.  Employment Conditions and Remuneration

The Malaysian Employment Act 1955 and relevant contract documents from the Embassy/Consulate of migrant workers will form the reference for the terms and conditions of employment and remuneration for the employees. Generally, the workers work 8 hours a day and 48hours a week with at least one day off in every 7-day period. We honour the remunerations stated in the contract of service and rates of pay agreed and accepted by the workers with proper official pay slips where no deductions are made except for statutory and other legally permitted deductions. Shops selling daily and household essentials and provisions to workers in the plantations are well monitored and controlled by the Management to ensure the goods are reasonably priced.

5. Occupational Safety and Health

As a responsibility to ensure the existence of a safe and healthy environment for all employees, the implementation of appropriate occupational safety and health measures are strictly observed in our plantations and mills. Besides ensuring work premises and environments are free from potential hazards, all employees are trained to be risk alert and health conscious by wearing the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) provided free to workers to safeguard their own safety and health. Training is also given to all levels of staff and workers on the safe handling, transporting, using and storing of various tools, agro-chemicals and other inputs. All agro-chemicals used are risk assessed and only chemicals which are safe and given in the approved list are used. The use of Paraquat herbicide has been totally phased out. Annual medical check-ups by qualified DOSH doctors are conducted annually for workers dealing with agro-chemicals in the plantations and workers who are exposed to high pitch machinery in the mills.

  

Continuous Improvement Plans

As a way forward to upgrade performance in all areas of operation in our mills and plantations, we are and shall always commit to the concept and practice of continuous improvement, whereby among others, we shall be looking into the following areas of improvement.

1.  Clonal Oil Palm Planting Materials

Long term objective of maximizing palm oil yield per hectare through the planting of high yielding clonal materials.

2.  Improving Operational Processes in Mill

As part of the group’s continuous efforts to improve mill operational efficiency with due considerations on pollution reduction and control to minimize negative impacts on the environment, a few major improvement have been executed by the mills

  • i) New System of Sterilization

    Install a new system of sterilization process to reduce steam consumption, stabilize the receiver steam pressure and improve steam demand balance for power plant with improved boiler operations. With a new conveyer system to replace cages, cranes and marshalling movement, the overall mill operations will improve with reduced use of diesel or fossil fuel, thus resulting in a much cleaner and safer environment. The fruit washing system will also ensure better process hygiene with reduced machinery wear and tear and iron contamination for the oil produced.

  • ii) CDM Project – Methane Avoidance

    A CDM methane avoidance project is a solution of environmental problems and climate change. The project is able to capture and convert biogas from palm oil mill effluent (POME) into power generation, thus to reduce environmental impacts from mill waste water treatment and dependence of fossil fuel by using renewable energy. 

In conclusions, The Group are aware and conscious of the need to maintain a high level of sustainability in order to comply with the Sustainability Principles and Criteria and every effort will be made to ensure that this is achieved without reservation.

 

         

Sustainability Brochure