At the RSPO, we strongly support independent smallholders. We help them improve their livelihoods by building the capacity of sustainable agriculture practices on their farms.
Today, more than 7 million smallholders around the world make a living from oil palm. In Malaysia and Indonesia alone, smallholdings represent approximately 40% of the total area for oil palm production.
As the name suggests, smallholder plantations are small-scale, with planted oil palm areas of less than 50 hectares. Under RSPO Certification, smallholders can grow oil palm independently, as part of an Independent Smallholder Group or as part of a Smallholder Scheme. They have the potential to make a significant impact to our shared mission to transform oil palm production and procurement into a sustainable industry.
SMALLHOLDER CERTIFICATION IN NUMBERS
Source: Market Data, August 2023
Benefits of becoming RSPO Certified.
- Improved management practices
- Increased yield and access to markets
- Better quality Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB)
- Strengthened partnerships
Smallholders face many challenges on the ground, from insufficient start-up support to low yields.
Becoming RSPO Certified
We want to support more smallholders to become RSPO Certified.
This will help them produce more oil using less land, improve livelihoods, and reduce the risk of land conversion which threatens forest, wildlife, and biodiversity. By learning best management practices, certified smallholders also gain improved access to markets.
To include more smallholders and to reflect their unique circumstances and needs, we have developed the RSPO Independent Smallholder (ISH) Standard. Exclusively for independent smallholders, this standard strikes a balance between promoting greater smallholder inclusion and protecting our core sustainability requirements. The standard has a simplified certification approach, which makes it more straightforward to enter the RSPO Certification System, and provides a phased process for reaching and verifying compliance.
HOW CAN YOU GET SUPPORT?
Empowering and engaging you in sustainable supply chains is essential to making the palm oil market more sustainable.
Strengthening capacity to become certified
Secure support from third parties to strengthen your capacity to gain your 2019 RSPO Independent Smallholder (ISH) Standard certification. Downstream players such as consumer goods manufacturers or retailers can support you to achieve this.
Sign up and connect on the RSPO Smallholder Engagement Platform (RSEP), which connects smallholders seeking potential financial or non-financial support around the world with potential partners to help them with their project.
RSPO Smallholder Credits
Do you want to earn premiums for your sustainability efforts, regardless of your location or plot size? Sell your FFB as RSPO Smallholders Credits on RSPO PalmTrace.
RSPO Smallholder Support Fund (RSSF)
The RSPO provides financial assistance through the RSPO Smallholder Support Fund (RSSF) to help you achieve certification. Since its inception in 2013, the RSSF has provided funding to programmes supporting 30,379 smallholders across five major oil palm producing regions: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Africa and Latin America.
Photo Credit: RSPO/SayanCHUENUDOMSAVAD