Within our sustainability strategy, we clearly have a focus on people and social challenges. A lot of actions are focused on our own associates, however bigger challenges are happening further away from our direct operations. This is why we dedicate a commitment of our strategy to people working along the supply chain.

We contribute by partnering with Earthworm Foundation to support the collective action of the Southern Central Forest Spine (SCFS) Landscape Project in Malaysia. We want to show how sustainable practices can benefit both the environment and the local communities. 

positive social impact

Today we are happy to share some of the results achieved so far to tackle social challenges.

1.  Operational Grievance Mechanism

The Operational Grievance Mechanism (OGM) is a pilot intervention to strengthen the quality of internal grievance mechanisms of palm oil companies within the project area. The OGM was developed in response to findings that strongly indicated the need to build capacity within company's management to ensure a safe, effective, and trusted mechanism in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGP). In 2023, the pilot was successfully implemented in two mills and inspired other locations to start the pilot as well. 

This action will help the workers express their concerns and issues faced at work. At the moment, Earthworm is working in engaging more companies to follow the good example set by Tian Siang Oil Mill. Despite some concerns from companies regarding reputational and legal risks, as well as limited resources for smaller businesses, there is opportunity for positive action and improvement. Despite some concerns from companies regarding reputational and legal risks, as well as limited resources for smaller businesses, there is opportunity for positive action and improvement.

2. Decent Work Awareness Training

The Earthworm team, in collaboration with Cargill, Fuji, and IOI, has conducted a Decent Work Awareness training aiming to introduce workers to decent labour practices. There have been quite some attendees to this training: they were primarily managers, assistant managers, and workers' representatives (NUPW) across Johor Plantation's mills and estates as well as the Sustainability and Innovation Department from HQ. 

SCFS landscape

3. Get it right campaign

In late 2023, Earthworm launched the #GetItRight initiative in collaboration with the Malaysian Ministry of Human Resources and support by the Ministry of Plantation and Commodities. The initiative aims to highlight the commitment of businesses, from global brands to local suppliers, in making sustainable improvements in labor practices in Malaysia. This effort aligns with the goals stated in the National Action Plan on Forced Labour (NAPFL), which aims to eliminate forced labor in Malaysia by 2030 through better labour practices.

Their success stories inspired more PALM COMPANIES to join the project and learn from their experience. 


We are proud of the progress made in 2023 within the joint project and all the other initiatives and actions that spark from these. The best part is that the initiatives in the EF SCFS landscape can serve as valuable models for others, facilitating a robust learning process.


About Vandemoortele

Vandemoortele was founded in 1899 as a Belgian family business, and has continued to grow and develop ever since. Over the last two decades, we became a European food company with leading positions in two product categories: Bakery Products (BP) and Plant-Based Food Solutions. We are known for supplying innovative and high-quality products. 

In 2023, Vandemoortele realised a turnover of around EUR 1.9 billion with 4,080 associates (permanent and temporary). The Vandemoortele Group headquarters are located in Ghent, Belgium. We have commercial offices in 12 European countries, as well as in the United States and Asia. We operate in 29 high-quality production sites all over Europe, in order to ensure proximity to all our key markets. We export from Europe to 72 countries worldwide.

News & Media Contact

Marc Croonen