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FAIR Company-Community Partnerships

With the purpose to both foster economic development opportunities as well as reduce the adverse impacts of rapid expansion of palm oil production on local communities, the FAIR company-community partnership model offers a re-redesign of development models in palm oil production and trade.

Oxfam’s vision is to establish multi-functional mosaic landscapes in which stakeholders have applied participatory land use planning to arrive at optimal combinations of export crops such as palm oil, local food crops and conservation areas, notably forest and peat land.  Smallholders and their communities, both women and men, will benefit from livelihoods of their choice in terms of food security, safeguarded land rights and diversified income.

In our approach we focus on policy and practice, both within and outside the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).  To go from certified good practices to a further innovation of better practices we have developed the FAIR principles.  FAIR company-community partnerships will meet four principles that describe the better practices in company-community relationships in palm oil production and trade within a landscape approach.  FAIR is an acronym that stands for 1) Freedom of choice; 2) Accountability; 3) Improvement of benefits; and 4) Respect for rights.  FAIR partnerships are considered to be a condition for climate friendly, land-efficient and pro-poor palm oil production.

In this new programme we have, to date, engaged with numerous commodity sector and financial sector companies.  These companies include plantation and mill companies, consumer goods manufacturers, commercial and development banks, and institutional and impact investors. We will collaborate with buyers and investors to engage and support palm oil producers who, in turn, engage smallholder supplies and their host communities.  To read about our progress to date, please download the ‘FAIR Company-Community Partnerships: Summary Co-creation Day and Way Forward’-report in the downloads section.

Partnerships will be demonstrated in multiple locations spread over Indonesia, DRC and Nigeria.  We aim to scale and mainstream the model through investments in innovative FAIR company-community partnerships.

Programme management will be established across multiple partners.


  • Project period: 2017-2021
  • Target group: initially smallholders in palm oil sector
  • Location: Indonesia, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Proponent: Oxfam Novib in cooperation with Oxfam Indonesia, Nigeria and DRC


For more information about this programme, please contact Johan Verburg, Pro-Poor Value Chains



Indonesia, DRC and Nigeria are developing, resource-rich and ecosystem-rich countries, where palm oil production offers plenty of economic development opportunities.  The rapid expansion of palm oil has, however, raised serious concerns about the impact of this industry on land-use change and on landscape stakeholders.  Numerous reports highlight the adverse impacts that oil palm development has had on local communities, notably on land conflicts, food security and working conditions, and on the environment, notably deforestation, peat land fires and greenhouse gas emissions.

Indonesia, the world’s largest producer of palm oil, wants to double production from 2010 to 2020, requiring at least 5 million more hectares of plantation land.  In the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria, too, the expansion of palm oil plantations forced smallholders to give up their community lands for large-scale export crop production, lowering their incomes and food security.

Smallholders often lack the organisation or access to credit and technical assistance that would enable them to compete and negotiate fair prices and contracts. Price mechanisms are not transparent, and unfairly dominated by governments and companies.  The voice of smallholders is not heard in land use planning.

See more: FAIR Company-Community Partnerships Summary Co-Creation Day and Way Forward


The long-term objective of FAIR company-community partnerships is to create exploitation-free and deforestation-free commodity supply chains, with economic benefits for smallholder families and protection of community land rights.

In cooperation with local and international partners, Oxfam will co-create partnerships between companies and communities that demonstrate the economic, social and environmental business case for investing in smallholder suppliers.

CSOs and companies willing to commit to the programme have been identified across the palm oil value chain, in Indonesia, Nigeria and DRC: growers, millers, consumer goods manufacturers, banks and investors. Existing partners in Indonesia are SPKS, JKPP and KPA.

See more: FAIR Company-Community Partnerships Summary Co-Creation Day and Way Forward


It is expected that by 2021, five FAIR company-community demonstration projects will have shown increased land efficiency and productivity, resolved land conflicts, and reduced emissions through avoided deforestation.

The company-community partnerships will prove attractive economic, social and environmental returns on investment in a way that can be replicated elsewhere, establishing a new norm that changes the 'business as usual' growth model.

We will see a shift from expanding monocultures of oil palm towards better planned and agreed mosaic landscape of forest land, subsistence farming land, and large and small scale oil palm production.

See more: FAIR Company-Community Partnerships Summary Co-Creation Day and Way Forward



FAIR Company-Community Partnerships: Summary Co-Creation: Day and Way Forward

Oxfam Company-Community Partnerships Co-Creation: June 2016 Update

Oxfam Mission Team Report: Organizing Communities  

Oxfam Mission Team Report: Mobilizing Palm Oil Producers

FAIR Company Community Principles


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