How can the palm oil that is being utilised and consumed in variety of products be identified as certified sustainable palm oil?
As simple as the question may be, what follows the question is a lengthy explanation, which was highlighted and discussed at a recent RSPO Media Gathering with Indonesian journalists, which took place in Mercantile Athletic Club Jakarta, Indonesia, May 12, 2015.
Hosted by the RSPO, the journalists from fifteen media outlets based in Jakarta were able to interact with Prof. Dr. Bungaran Saragih, RSPO Advisor, Desi Kusumadewi, RSPO Indonesia Director, and Putra Agung, Sustainable Palm Oil Program Manager of WWF-Indonesia.
This forum, organised quarterly with aim to form a better understanding with the Indonesian media as a platform to create awareness and engage with the media on the latest progress update on sustainable palm oil.
The forum began with Desi presenting the top three environmental and social issues based on the Leading Demands for Sustainability in the Marketplace study defining key concerns about palm oil and RSPO’s response on addressing the concerns.
Based on the study, 51% of global CSPO is being produced in Indonesia. It was recognised that Indonesia plays an important role in the market transformation of CSPO with more than 40% of total CSPO, CSPK, certified area and total Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB) originate from Indonesia.
A detailed sustainable palm oil supply chain system was then presented, which began at the plantation and ending as consumer goods. Traceability plays a major role here as it allows consumers to choose between a product that uses CSPO or just palm oil based on the RSPO trademark on the end product.
The newly established RSPO task force on FFB Legality and Traceability Task Force was introduced by Agung, covering the aims and the progress so far since establishment.
To wrap-up the forum, Desi shared the progressive development in Europe associated with the launch of the new labeling regulations since December 2014 as well as various industry initiatives in Europe towards 100% CSPO commitment. Subsequent media gathering will be updated with the latest development following the upcoming European Conference Roundtable taking place in Amsterdam, on 3 June 2015, themed, "100% CSPO in Europe by 2020, Our Shared Action Plan."