In view of the challenges and concerns raised by RSPO Members on the current ruling, which prohibits large growers i.e., growers with landholdings larger than 500 ha without mills from applying the Group Certification, the RSPO Board of Governors (BoG) convened a meeting on 17 October 2023 to deliberate this matter. The BoG has agreed on the following:
- A broad exemption is given to the ruling under Section 1.2 of the RSPO Group Certification 2022, which now allows all individual growers including growers with landholdings above 500 ha to apply RSPO Group Certification, with immediate effect from 17 October 2023.
- The RSPO Group Certification allows individual growers to certify their Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB) against the RSPO Principles & Criteria (P&C) together under a single certificate. With this broad exemption, all existing certified group(s) remain valid and all individual growers who seek P&C certification of their FFB can pursue certification or recertification under the Group Certification.
- This issue may be rectified through the next Group Certification document review process scheduled for next year (2024).