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RSPO members make progress in the avoidance of GHG emissions, inclusion of smallholders and growth of certified land; Invested more than $23 million in restoration projects.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: 30 October 2019 - Today, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) released their 2019 Impact Report, highlighting that the number of RSPO certified independent smallholders increased by 52% and the total number of smallholders increased by an impressive 165% during the period of 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019. This is a particularly encouraging result as the RSPO continues to promote a greater inclusion of smallholders while also ensuring that the core sustainability requirements are upheld.
Other noteworthy trends included significant growth in RSPO certified area in Africa by 56%. From a global perspective, the total RSPO certified area grew by over 22% year-on-year to 3.89 million hectares across 16 countries, with a production volume of 14.29 million metric tonnes (MT) of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) and 3.21 million MT of Certified Sustainable Palm Kernel (CSPK). RSPO also approved 19 new grower members over the past financial year, totaling 171 growers in the organisation as of 30 June 2019.
RSPO Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Darrel Webber, said: “I’m thrilled to see this sort of growth across a number of important parts of the sustainable palm oil value chain, particularly with regard to smallholders, and just before the new Independent Smallholder Standard is tabled for adoption at our upcoming roundtable conference this November. I’m confident we’ll see these numbers continue to increase in the years to come,” he said.
In terms of membership, RSPO grew by an impressive 11% reaching 4,349 members as of 30 June 2019, with the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom achieving top three respectively for membership. Interestingly, the report also showed a 25% increase in RSPO Trademark licence holders since the last reporting period. Furthermore, there was also a 2% growth in overall demand and uptake during this reporting period.
RSPO CEO, Datuk Darrel Webber, took this opportunity to call upon downstream members: “Without more pressure and demand from the downstream market, the likely outcome is more unsustainable palm oil.”
Additionally, RSPO members continued their efforts by avoiding land clearance and any new planting on peat, and by sequestering conservation areas in new development, thus saving 1.4 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to removing almost 300,000 passenger vehicles from the road in a single year.
Early next month, RSPO members from across the world will meet at the 17th Annual Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT17) in Bangkok, Thailand, under the theme, ‘A Shared Responsibility: Converting Commitments into Actions’. With 2020 sustainability targets fast approaching, RT17 will be the ideal platform for representatives from the global palm oil industry to discuss the latest challenges and opportunities facing the sustainable palm oil sector.
Thereafter, members of RSPO‘s 16th Annual General Assembly (GA16) will vote on a number of resolutions, including the new proposed RSPO Independent Smallholder Standard.
Data in the RSPO Impact Report 2019 is from the reporting period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019. The full report can be found here.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders. RSPO is a not-for-profit, international, membership organisation that unites stakeholders from the different sectors of the palm oil industry including oil palm producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation NGOs, and social or developmental NGOs.
This multi-stakeholder representation is mirrored in the governance structure of RSPO such that seats in the Board of Governors, Steering Committees and Working Groups are fairly allocated to each sector. In this way, RSPO lives out the philosophy of the "roundtable" by giving equal rights to each stakeholder group, facilitating traditionally adversarial stakeholders in working together to reach decisions by consensus, and achieving RSPO’s shared vision of making sustainable palm oil the norm.
The seat of the association is in Zurich, Switzerland, while the secretariat is currently based in Kuala Lumpur with satellite offices in Jakarta (ID), London (UK), Zoetermeer (NL), Beijing (CN) and Bogotá (CO).
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