Image by Dave Hoefler

Environmental, Social, Governance
& Corporate Social Responsibility

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Environmental

We harvest and replant trees in batches to reduce soil erosion and ensure that the plantation is constantly able to supply raw materials for processing. We also minimise any carbon emissions by educating farmers not to burn wastes and work with different non-government organisations to research up-cycling and breakthrough findings of the benefits of agarwood. No part of the tree goes to waste as we ensure it is sorted and graded for different uses - medicinal, fragrance and religious purposes.

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Social

In the past, multiple middlemen in the buying process meant the farmers were paid a small fraction of the market price. We want to change that by ensuring farmers are paid equitably for the raw materials. We strive to be a good corporate citizen in every market that we operate in and serve the interest of all major stakeholders - customers, employees, investors, communities, suppliers, and the environment.  We aim to support local communities in education, healthcare as well as training employees in modern agriculture.  We will also work with local NGOs in suitable philanthropic efforts to address hardship in the communities and elevate standards of living.

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Governance

Aboveboard involvement of the authority of the SG and ASEAN governments, engagement of reputable legal and auditing firm for the operations of the company. The Centre of Excellence in Singapore will ensure the independent grading and certification of agarwood products through partnerships with local government and institutes of higher learning.  All of our operations in countries where we source raw materials will be guided by governance principles like risk management (i.e. insurance coverage for crops), climate impact, compensation, employee treatment, unfair practices, and more. By making ethical decisions in everything we do, we hope to benefit all our stakeholders.

The high economic demand for agarwood has led to the over-harvesting of the aquilaria sinensis trees (agarwood trees) in many countries leading to the depletion of the species. Agarwood is only found in a small percentage of aquilaria trees in the wild. This leads to the destruction of many trees before a tree with agarwood resins is found. While some governments have introduced conservation policies, the continued poaching of the trees in the wild is threatening the existence of the species.

 

Due to the decline in supplies of wild agarwood, landowners have embarked on the cultivation of aquilaria sinensis plantations where the mature trees are artificially inoculated to produce agarwood.  The introduction of fungi into the trees results in an automatic defense mechanism by the tree to fight off the fungi.  This results in resins forming in the heartwood of the tree - the highly valued agarwood.  

Every plantation we work within Asia has to meet our stringent ESG requirements so it is a triple win for the local communities, the state government, as well as business interests, are met. Welcome to Lao PDR, a new haven for agarwood production!