The RSPO Annual Communication of Progress (ACOP) 2020 saw a record response rate at 93% this year, a boost attributed to increased outreach and communications with members. This upward trajectory goes hand in hand with growing RSPO membership, which has doubled in numbers between 2014 to 2020. Conversely, sanctions imposed on members have significantly decreased, with a total of 118 this year compared to an average of 200 prior to 2017.

Currently, RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) comprises 19% of global palm oil production, out of a total 73 million tonnes produced in 2020. RSPO grower members represent 39% of global palm oil production. 

ACOP 2020’s key highlights include strong results in terms of CSPO production in Latin America and CSPO uptake in North America, as well as an increase of CSPO sales sold as RSPO volumes. 

Among oil palm producing regions, Latin America showed solid growth in 2020, with the highest percentage of CSPO (28%) production and potential to increase to 35%.  Indonesia and Malaysia continue to be the leading oil palm producing countries, both of which have shown good results, each with CSPO totalling 19%  of their national total production. 

North America outperformed all palm oil consuming regions with an estimated 81% uptake of CSPO, a significant increase from the 59% estimate recorded in 2019. In terms of regional estimated CSPKO uptake, the developed markets of North America (68%) and Europe (63%) were top performers.

With respect to CSPO sales, CSPO sold as RSPO volumes (Physical MB, SG and IP, or RSPO Credits) represented 57% of CSPO sales, an increase from 52% in 2019.

RSPO Trademark use 

A total of 186 members, composed of CGM and Retailers, are currently using the RSPO Trademark, with a further 93 members expressing plans to use the Trademark in the future. 

The RSPO Trademark is currently being used in 111 countries and territories, with the highest usage concentrated in the more developed markets of Western Europe and North America.

Persisting challenges, moving forward

To address challenges such as the negative perception of palm oil and a low awareness of RSPO, a majority of RSPO members have been proactively giving their support through consumer and B2B engagement, particularly to encourage CSPO consumption and uptake.

It is imperative to strengthen action on increasing the attractiveness of RSPO membership, strengthening standards and faith in the RSPO Assurance System, and increasing engagement with governments and manufacturing organisations. Beyond promoting conversion into the RSPO ecosystem, members need to be empowered to continue their journey towards achieving certification.

The RSPO Annual Communication of Progress (ACOP) is an annual self-reporting endeavour carried out by RSPO members, which is mandatory for Ordinary and Affiliate members that have completed a full year of membership. ACOP data is increasingly being used in conjunction with existing RSPO data, principally the Assurance System data that covers certified members. ACOP encompasses a wider scope as it covers certified as well as uncertified members. 

All ACOP reports are available here on the RSPO website. The 2020 digest and segment reports will be available very soon.

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