Brussels, 30 January 2011 – The Belgian Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil has launched its charter to promote the use of certified sustainable palm oil in Belgium. The charter pledges that by the end of 2015, all palm oil designated for the Belgian market will be produced based on the sustainability criteria of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
The charter was signed by several parties in the palm oil supply chain – from processors and product manufacturers to industry associations. They have committed to produce and source RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil and boost the transformation towards a fully sustainable market.
Darrel Webber, the Secretary General of RSPO demonstrates his support for the Belgian charter and states: “The establishment of the Belgian Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil is a highly commendable and progressive initiative undertaken by organizations towards 100% sourcing of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) by 2015. The Belgian Alliance demonstrates strong commitment and leadership in promoting sustainability among European product manufacturers, continuing the positive trend initiated by the Dutch national industry commitment in 2010. It is an exemplary endeavour which we hope more European consumer markets can typify and commit themselves in order to increase the uptake of CSPO. Today RSPO CSPO represents 11% of all palm oil produced globally. To this end, RSPO looks forward to working closely with the Belgian Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil and its members to raise consumer awareness of sustainable palm oil.”
Adam Harrison, Vice-President of the RSPO and Senior Policy Officer for Food and Agriculture World Wildlife Fund, highlights the collaborative nature of the Belgian initiative: “WWF welcomes the Belgian Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil which demonstrates to the Belgian industry the importance of tackling sustainability through cooperation. WWF urges all companies using palm oil to set ambitious time bound targets for procuring certified sustainable palm oil, both in Belgium and in the other countries they are active, and begin buying it as soon as possible, so that we can realize our shared vision for a future where sustainable palm oil is the norm.”
RSPO recognizes that initiatives like the Belgian and Dutch National Commitments are of crucial importance in order to boost the uptake of CSPO and should be regarded as best practices in Europe. RSPO eagerly awaits the next national industry commitment to 100% sourcing of certified sustainable palm oil by 2015 and calls on other European countries to follow these examples and solidify Europe’s leadership in responsible supply chain practices.
 Supporters of the Belgian Alliance on Sustainable Palm oil include (1) FEVIA, the Belgian Federation of the Food Industry, (2) Choprabisco, the Royal Belgian Association of the Biscuit, Chocolate, Pralines and Confectionary Industry, (3) Cargill, (4) Fuji Oil Europe (5) Belgian Association of the Margarine Industry (6) Unifa, the Belgian Union of Manufacturers and Importers of Products for the Bakery, Pastry, Chocolate and Icecream Industry (7) FGBB, the Belgian Federation of Bakeries and (8) Belgapom, the professional organisation of the Belgian Potato Trade and Processing industry. For more information, visit http://www.sustainablepalm.be/