The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) said its new logo is a'milestone' in its bid to encourage production and use of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) as it will "serve as an impetus for all members in the CSPO supply chain to step up their efforts."
RSPO said its brand owner and retailer membership can use the new trademark on packaging as well as in communication about products that contain RSPO backed palm oil-derived ingredients.
The design of the trademark, continued the not-for-profit association, was unveiled in November last year at the 8th Roundtable Meeting of the RSPO in Indonesia but it has taken until now to finalise rules governing the use of the logo as well as a procedure on trademark licence application.
Tanno Massar, a spokesperson for RSPO, said the new logo will have more impact with shoppers than the previous wording alone, citing growing consumer interest in buynig products using CSPO derived ingredients.
Currently, around nine per cent of all palm oil produced in the world is RSPO certified.
The RSPO spokesperson also told this publication that there will be no additional trademark licence fee in the first phase of the application process, which is set to end 1 July 2012. Thereafter, the fee structure would be reviewed, he added.
Use of the RSPO trademark is allowed only if at least 95 per cent of a product's palm oil derived components are RSPO certified.
There are two different versions of the new logo, said the spokesperson. Products containing palm oil ingredients sourced under the Mass Balance RSPO option must carry the logo as well as the wording 'mixed' on all consumer orientated product communication.
India and China
The spokesperson said one of the biggest challenges currently facing the RSPO is helping ensure that the conditions are put in place in India and China - two of the biggest consumer markets for palm oil - for greater take-up of CSPO.
"We hope to achieve this through awareness raising and outreach work with stakeholders such as goverment-backed organisations," he remarked.
When asked whether the premium pricing structure around CSPO is not a barrier to its wider use in emerging economies, Massar argues that: "Sustainable will not always equal premium, and CSPO will eventually become the norm globally."
The RSPO rules regarding communication around the logo can be read here .