KUALA LUMPUR (April 18): Sime Darby Plantation Bhd (SDP) is transforming all 33 of its Malaysian palm oil mills into certified food safety facilities by the end of 2023, after which the same standards will be applied across the group's operations in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands.
Under this exercise, it said mill safety and sustainability standards will be raised to meet stringent international food production standards, said the plantation group in a statement on Monday (April 18).
"We have redesigned plantations by mechanising, automating and digitalising several aspects of work that have always been done manually.
"Our journey now takes us into our mills where we will deliver world-class food safety assurance to our customers while ensuring operational efficiency and safety," said SDP's group managing director Mohamad Helmy Othman Basha.
The group added the immediate priority is to achieve food safety compliance that is certified by the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) standards.
It also shared that currently four SDP mills (Giram, Sabah; Tennamaram, Selangor; Sua Betong, Negeri Sembilan; and Ulu Remis, Johor) have successfully attained HACCP certification, while another 29 mills will be evaluated by HACCP certifiers over the next few months.
"To fulfil our customers' requirements, we are not only looking at continuously improving the processes at our refineries but are now going the extra mile with our mills to ensure food safety at the supply base.
"Food safety is our top priority as we aim to adhere to the highest international standards and take the lead in this area for palm oil milling," he said.
Besides that, the group has appointed a chief medical officer, a new position created to further enhance healthcare services throughout SDP's operations and health awareness amongst workers.
The plantation group has also adopted the Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) metrics to track mill performance in terms of capacity and availability.
"With OEE, which is the gold standard for measuring manufacturing productivity globally, Sime Darby Plantation hopes to better identify, understand, and then close any operational gaps.
"In addition to addressing food safety, SDP has also set a mission target of 'Zero Fatality, Zero Class 2 Incidents* and Zero Environmental Non-compliance' for all its mills.
"This target is underpinned by a range of comprehensive health, safety & environment (HSE) key performance indicators, and full-time internal auditors will conduct regular audits at all 33 mills to ensure that they are on track with their HSE targets," it said.
Shares in SDP ended eight sen or 1.58% higher at RM5.15 on Monday, giving it a market capitalisation of RM35.62 billion.