Paris, France/Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 8 August, 2011
France-headquartered multinational Danone, one of the most successful healthy food companies in the world, has joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). RSPO membership fits perfectly in Danone’s philosophy in which sustainable development throughout the supply chain has been a central component for years as part of the Respect programme.
As a multi-stakeholder initiative RSPO aims to transform the market for palm oil to one where sustainably produced palm oil is the norm. It is experiencing rapid growth on a global scale. As recent as last week RSPO welcomed three major US-origin multinationals on board: the world largest retailer Walmart, leading confectionary group Hershey’s and financial services giant Citigroup.
Franck Riboud, CEO of Danone, points at the so called "dual economic and social project" that is the foundation of the Danone way of doing business: “Almost forty years old but still timely today. A company cannot succeed in the long run if it turns its back on the society it is a part of, if it only looks to its short-term economic gain. Danone’s founder understood very quickly that creating economic value and social value are both essential to a company’s solidity. This is what we also see in RSPO, a great balance between business interests and dealing responsibly with social and environmental matters.”
RSPO Secretary General Darrel Webber is extending a warm welcome to the new member of the family: “I am proud to welcome the global number 1 company in fresh dairy products to the RSPO, home of thé global standard for certified sustainable palm oil. With its strong presence across the world, including in India and China, two key priority countries for the RSPO when it comes to the use of palm oil, Danone has the potential to act as a powerful change agent in our markets.”
In response to the urgent and pressing global call for sustainably produced palm oil, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders.
The seat of the association is in Zurich, Switzerland, while the secretariat is currently based in Kuala Lumpur with a satellite office in Jakarta.
RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from seven sectors of the palm oil industry – oil palm producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation NGOs and social or developmental NGOs – to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.
Such multi-stakeholder representation is mirrored in the governance structure of RSPO such that seats in the Executive Board and project level Working Groups are fairly allocated to each sector. In this way, RSPO lives out the philosophy of the "roundtable" by giving equal rights to each stakeholder group to bring group-specifi‑c agendas to the roundtable, facilitating traditionally adversarial stakeholders and business competitors to work together towards a common objective and making decisions by consensus.
For further information please contact:
Anne Gabriel, Communications Director, RSPO Secretariat
Unit A-33A-2, Menara UOA Bangsar, No.5 Jalan Bangsar Utama 1,
59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia