Last month, for the very first time, sales of sustainable palm oil to processors and retailers matched production by certified suppliers.
In January 2010, close to 120,000 tonnes of sustainable palm oil or matching certificates were traded by either UTZ Certified or GreenPalm. About the same volume of sustainable palm oil was produced that same month by RSPO-certified oil mills and their supply base, bringing the market uptake for January to a whopping 98 percent.
Much oil from 2009 is still readily available, though, and production is projected to increase. All current market figures are available through the RSPO's online Market Center.
At this early stage, most of the palm oil is sold using the Book & Claim system, in which end-users such as product manufacturers and retailers buy online certificates that match palm oil batches produced by RSPO-certified plantations. Increasingly, however, sustainably produced palm oil itself, kept 'segregated' throughout the supply chain, is becoming available for purchase.