RSPO strengthens its stance on deforestation and human rights

By Niamh Michail

- Last updated on GMT

The RSPO+ certification is a voluntary add-on for companies wishing to promote their commitment to sustainability.
The RSPO+ certification is a voluntary add-on for companies wishing to promote their commitment to sustainability.

Related tags Sustainable palm oil

Stricter voluntary guidelines on deforestation, peatland development and indigenous people’s rights will strengthen the sustainable palm oil certification, says the RSPO.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) said that the move reflected growing concerns that these issues were not being sufficiently addressed - all three issues had been raised by a review of the RSPO​ carried out last year by Daemeter Consulting firm.

Danielle Morley, European Director of Outreach and Engagement, said: "It also reflects a need to give the opportunity to producers to better explain, demonstrate, and communicate how they are addressing such issues within their companies."

Morley told FoodNavigator that the addendum was currently being drafted and more details would be available after the draft had been reviewed by the RSPO board of governors in June 2015.

The current guideline, last revised in 2013, will remain in place with the RSPO+ being a voluntary add-on.

Although voluntary, Morley said that a considerable number of RSPO palm oil growers were expected to sign up given the importance of the issues.

All producers who decided to apply would have to comply with the full addendum in order to receive the RSPO+ recognition, and would be assessed by official RSPO-accredited auditors, she added.

RSPO secretary-general Datuk Darrel Webber said that this was part of the RSPO’s vision to make sustainable palm oil the norm.

We are confident that this addendum will promote the work of growers who have decided to move faster in their sustainability practices, while making sure we keep everyone on board and travel together towards market transformation.”

The RSPO is a non-profit association formed in 2004 which aims to promote the use of sustainable palm oil. Working with stakeholders it claims to set credible global standards and terms of engagement with all those working in the industry.

Last year Cargill called on the RSPO​ to broaden its principles and to rethink its pledge towards zero deforestation. 

Related topics Commodities

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