Smallholders

Definitions of smallholder and out-growers

The original definition of out-growers and smallholders was stated in the RSPO P&C for Sustainable Palm Oil Production – October 2007 as:-

Out-growers 
Farmers, where the sale of FFB is exclusively contracted to the grower/miller. Out-growers may be smallholders.

Smallholders 
“Farmers growing oil palm, sometimes along with subsistence production of other crops, where the family provides the majority of labour and the farm provides the principle source of income, and where the planted area of oil palm is usually below 50 hectares in size”

The RSPO Guidance on Scheme Smallholders July 2009 further recognised

Independent smallholders “... while very varied in their situations are characterised by their: freedom to choose how to use their lands, which crops to plant and how to manage them; being self-organised, self-managed and self-financed; and by not being contractually bound to any particular mill or any particular association. They may, however, receive support or extension services from government agencies” 

Scheme smallholders “...while also very diverse, are characterised as smallholders who are structurally bound by contract, by a credit agreement or by planning to a particular mill. Scheme smallholders are often not free to choose which crop they develop, are supervised in their planting and crop management techniques, and are often organised, supervised or directly managed by the managers of the mill, estate or scheme to which they are structurally linked.”

There is no generic definition on Associated Smallholders as yet. However, in the PNG NI document, it defines Associated Smallholders as “…who share some of the characteristics of independent smallholders, notably in terms of land use and management decisions, and yet are closely linked to particular mills for marketing and extension”

Recognition of Regional differences
National Interpretation, Local Interpretation and small producing countries will determine how this document can be applied to independent smallholders and schemed smallholders as well as out-growers in their respective locations but can use the above generic definitions as a guide. 
 
Specifically the National Interpretation processes (including Local Interpretation and small producing countries) will need to adopt a working definition for smallholders in their countries  and if desired subdivide these into independent, schemed or associated.