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How Indonesian Palm Oil Industry Use PR Strategy to Counter Environmental Issues


Mohammad Shihab


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NGOs always believe that palm oil industry is behind the rare animal extinction and the forest-burning in Indonesia. But, a seminar jointly organized by Communication Studies and Internship & Career Center President University revealed what public did not know behind the conflict.I attended the seminar of “Developing PR Strategy For Business Sustainability” with Yunita Sudauruk as a guest speaker from palm oil industry on Wednesday (05/10). She is the Head of Legal of Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI-IPOA), as well as a legal practitioner in a palm oil industry. On her speech, she declined all accusations stating palm industries destroyed environment.

Yunita Sidauruk (right) speaks in the seminar.

Yunita Sidauruk (right) speaks in the seminar.

“The actors who burned the land are the land-owners who are not a part of GAPKI. Thus, I need to clarify this to the public. GAPKI do not burn the land or destroy the environment. We run our business align with sustainability efforts,” Yunita shared.

Various issues on environment have been presented, especially from NGOs focus on environment. But, Yunita responded the issues in calm, and based on facts and data.

“We (GAPKI) do not worry to meet the NGOs because they are part of our publics. Their finding is our reflection. For NGOs that accuse us destroying forests, we easily decline it by presenting data. We always attend every discussion they organized, but they never come when we invite them.”

GAPKI respond issues and any accusation on the damaged environment by organizing a public relations approach.

“We actively provide statements on press releases. Media with large audiences are invited to come and see directly how we manage our palm field according to sustainability principles,” Yunita told.

Furthermore, GAPKI proactively establish open relationship with stakeholders, the society, and the community to strengthen good communication.

“We proactively send our CSR reports to relevant governmental institutions. We are also happy to attend any discussion with the society to let them know further about palm oil industry,” Yunita shared.

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