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Kuala Lumpur, Tuesday 21 June 2022: The RSPO Secretariat has completed a comprehensive verification assessment at SOCAPALM in Cameroon following allegations against the company that were published in July 2020 and January 2021.
In 2021, the RSPO launched an independent assessment consisting of desktop reviews, field visits and interviews with stakeholders, to substantiate the allegations. The assessment team has verified the allegations mentioned in the publications above and the findings are listed in this letter 1.
Following the findings of the assessment, SOCAPALM is required to undertake remediation and mitigation measures for each breach, and to submit a quarterly progress report to the RSPO Compliance Subdivision on the measures taken. The Compliance Subdivision will monitor the implementation of the activities for a period of six months (June - December 2022). Any unsatisfactory implementation of said activities could result in a formal complaint being lodged by the RSPO Secretariat with the independent Complaints Panel, as provided in the RSPO Complaints and Appeals Procedures.
The protection and respect of human rights are an essential pillar of the RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C), which govern the production of certified sustainable palm oil by producers that have chosen to become RSPO members. Allegations of misconduct by members are not representative of RSPO standards.
The RSPO is committed to enhancing its monitoring systems on a more consistent basis and to improving the RSPO Assurance system overall. Any organisation or agency with additional information about violation(s) of the RSPO Standards found on any RSPO member plantations is encouraged to submit a formal complaint through the Complaints System.
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, London, Zoetermeer, Beijing, Bogotá and New York.
Name: Irene Fischbach
Position: Director of Stakeholder Engagement & Communications
Name: Fay Richards
Position: Acting Head of Marketing & Communications
1 This updated letter replaces and supersedes the formerly uploaded letter dated 16 June 2022. This version contains factual precision for better clarity and understanding of the findings.