The Secretary General of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil along with two secretariat staff were in Europe to attend a series of meetings and discussions.
The trip kick started with a meeting and workshop organised by the Forests, Farms & Finance Initiative (3Fi). The RSPO is a member of 3Fi and one of the big ideas this initiative is promoting is Jurisdictional Sustainability.
3Fi is led by Earth Innovation Institute and one of the major new concepts for achieving greater unity and convergence in the transition to sustainable rural development is “jurisdictional sustainability”, in which the geographical area for measuring progress towards sustainability is the landscape instead of the mill or farm.
The jurisdictional approach focuses on improvements in the aggregate social and environmental performance of all uses of the land and natural resources within the chosen landscape. The RSPO’s has much interest on its capitalising methods on the jurisdictional concept will enable much wider scale of production of certified sustainable palm oil especially for the smallholders.
The two day event held in Amsterdam was attended by various stakeholders such as NGOs, development organisations, corporations such as Roundtable on Responsible Soy, Bonsucro, Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, World Wide Fund, Unilever, Forest Trends, and IDH created a great opportunity to meet other commodity roundtables to share information, experience and explore opportunities on collaboration for mutual benefit.
Moving on to one of the key objectives of the trip. Which was to promote the RSPO-RED scheme among members, especially the main buyers and users of biofuels.
Several meetings were held to improve awareness and uptake of the RSPO-RED scheme. The RSPO met with NGOs Ecosystem Alliance on their call for action to support more credible certification schemes (such as those from roundtables) for biofuels.
A great achievement of the trip however was the the launch of the European Sustainable Palm Oil initiative during the successful meeting with the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. The Netherlands is currently a global leader in sustainable palm oil sourcing with an ambition to achieve 100% sustainable palm oil imports by the end of 2015 with the creation of the European Sustainable Palm Oil initiative, which seeks to harmonise existing palm oil commitments and exchange best practices between countries and companies. Dutch Oils and Fats Industry Association (MVO) will coordinate the work of the new initiative, supported by IDH and working in close partnership with the RSPO.