It has come to the RSPO Secretariat’s attention that some certified members have been unable to meet the stipulated November 2021 deadline to fulfil the requirement of Indicator 2.3.2 of the 2018 RSPO Principles & Criteria (P&C), which states:

“For all indirectly sourced FFB, the unit of certification obtains from the collection centres, agents or other intermediaries, the evidence as listed in Indicator 2.3.1:

  • Information on geo-location of FFB origins

  • Proof of the ownership status or the right/claim to the land by the grower/smallholder

  • Where applicable, valid planting/operating/trading license, or is part of a cooperative which allows the buying and selling of FFB.”

In relation to this, Annex 4 of the 2018 RSPO P&C states:

“Where the unit of certification has smallholder suppliers, for existing RSPO certified mills, the time requirement to fulfil this Criterion for all their smallholder suppliers is by November 2021*. For mills that are not yet certified/mills going for the first year of certification, the time requirement is three years from initial point of certification for their smallholder suppliers.”

*Note: The time requirement for the following National Interpretations (NI) varies according to the endorsement date by the BoG.

  • Malaysia: three years from 15 November 2019

  • Sierra Leone: two years from November 2021

  • Nicaragua: three years from November 2021

  • Ecuador: three years from 15 November 2021

Acknowledging the challenges on the ground faced by members implementing Indicator 2.3.2, the RSPO Standard Standing Committee and Assurance Standing Committee have deliberated and provided the following Interim Measure as a guidance for certified members to meet the requirements:

  1. All RSPO certified companies who were unable to fulfil the requirement by November 2021 must register their case with the RSPO Certification Unit by sending an email to [email protected] by 31 March 2022** with the Subject: “Indicator 2.3.2 Case Register [company name]”. This is only applicable to certified companies that are going for audits after November 2021.

The email must include the following information:

  • Name of parent company holding the RSPO membership number

  • RSPO membership number

  • Name of certified units

  • RSPO PO_ID number

**Note: The 31 March 2022 deadline applies to all growers’ members who have been implementing the generic 2018 P&C in 2020/2021 and have been unable to meet the November 2021 deadline.

For the NIs, the deadline to register the case is the same for the transition period (e.g., for the Malaysia NI, the deadline to register is 15 November 2022).

  1. Once the case is registered, companies must submit the following data and plan to their respective Certification Bodies (CBs) prior to the upcoming Surveillance or Recertification Audit as referring to the CBs’ procedure:

    • Implementation progress and challenges: report with evidence the status of compliance detailing the total number of indirect FFB suppliers with the number of indirect FFB suppliers whose evidence (as per Indicator 2.3.1) obtained and those yet to be obtained.

    • A stepwise plan that outlines the actions and projected timeline towards complete fulfilment of the Indicator 2.3.2 requirement. This final deadline for 100% compliance of Indicator 2.3.2 as stated in the plan must not go beyond November 2023.

  2. The CBs shall then use the submitted data and plan to evaluate the companies’ progress in meeting the requirement of Indicator 2.3.2 during the upcoming Surveillance or Recertification Audits.

  3. Failure to fulfil the requirement of Indicator 2.3.2 by November 2023 for registered cases will result in a major non-compliance raised by the CBs, which may lead to suspension of the certificate.

  4. This interim solution is effective immediately until the next revision of the P&C is endorsed and adopted at 20th General Assembly in November 2023.

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