This article posits that smallholders are often seen as a weak point in the development of oil palm plantation production. The quality and yield of their production are considered low according to world market standards; the continuity of their production is irregular; and finally, improving the welfare of farmers is difficult to achieve. However, smallholder plantations have an important and strategic role in achieving sustainable development. This study aims to assess the social-life cycle assessment of smallholder palm oil plantations in the Bengkulu Province by involving stakeholders consisting of workers, local communities, farm owners, and value chain actors. A total of 600 respondents were selected using and interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Data analysis was conducted using social-life cycle assessment, involving various social issues and relevant social indicators for each stakeholder. The findings show that smallholder palm oil plantations still do not meet the minimum wage for workers, and the equipment used by workers remains minimal in terms of security and safety guarantees. The price of palm oil continues to fluctuate, and plantation policies are constantly changing, making it difficult for oil palm owners to meet the standards and various rules that are set for managing palm oil plantations. In addition, palm oil plantations are no longer a guarantee for the fulfilment of food security conditions for household owners, workers, communities, and actors involved in the value chain. The article also finds that there is a low level of commitment by smallholders and the government to sustainability in palm oil plantations. Standards such as the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil have not been able to compel smallholders to implement sustainable development in palm oil. Various policies formulated by the Indonesian government are perceived to have not addressed the core issues faced by small-scale farmers. The paper suggests policies supporting small-scale farmers, particularly those related to increasing productivity, fostering and monitoring the environmental management of palm oil plantation activities, and ensuring ownership of plantation, are necessary for the achievement of sustainable smallholder palm oil plantation development.