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Financial Assistance Provided to Independent Smallholders — RSPO waives Independent Smallholder membership fees for 2021 and allocates hardship allowance to Smallholder Support Fund

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic on 11 March 2020, the situation has continued to evolve daily, with numerous countries implementing government mandated restrictions, quarantines, social distancing, and/or other health and safety measures. RSPO fully acknowledges the significant impact this is having on the global community at large, especially on the livelihoods of Independent Smallholders (ISH). As such, the RSPO Secretariat is working continuously to identify ways to support Independent Smallholders throughout this difficult period.

In light of the ever evolving COVID-19 situation, the RSPO Board of Governors (BoG) has approved the Smallholder Standing Committee proposal to provide financial assistance to Independent Smallholder Group (SH) Group members. Following this approval, we would like to announce that membership fees will be waived for active ISH Groups (Ordinary membership - Oil Palm Growers: Smallholder) within the RSPO system. This membership fee waiver shall be accorded to all existing ISH Group members and new ISH Group members joining within the one year fee waiver period (effective from date of the BoG approval, 23 Jul 2021) and applies to membership fees for the year 2021. All membership fees due for renewals within the fee waiver period will be automatically waived. 

To further strengthen our support for smallholders, a hardship allowance of 1.2 million Malaysian Ringgit (USD300,000) will be allocated to the RSPO Smallholder Support Fund. The RSPO Secretariat are currently working on an appropriate mechanism for the fair and proper distribution of this allowance. RSPO members can also support smallholders directly through purchasing RSPO Smallholder credits

For further information on smallholder support, please contact the Smallholder Unit: smallholder@rspo.org.