Jakarta, Indonesia – On Feb 9, 2023, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support a more transparent and sustainable palm oil sector in Indonesia.
The MoU will include the development of a capacity building programme for RSPO members and palm-oil related stakeholders in Indonesia to promote the importance of transparency, anti-corruption practices, and overall business integrity within the Indonesian palm oil ecosystem. Grower companies, civil society organisations and RSPO’s intermediary partners will stand to benefit from the programme.
“Our formal partnership with CIPE has come at a befitting time when stricter regulatory requirements, such as the European Union deforestation regulations, are pushing for greater traceability within the palm oil supply chain. The MoU provides a framework for both parties to work towards a more resilient and accountable palm oil sector in Indonesia by enhancing the capacities of our members in these critical areas,” says RSPO’s Chief Executive Officer, Joseph D’Cruz.
With the MoU, RSPO and CIPE will work together to develop the training modules. RSPO will provide the resources (personnel) and knowhow, while CIPE will provide the financial resources required for the implementation of the activities within the MoU.
RSPO has been working together with CIPE since 2019 to raise awareness and knowledge of anti-corruption prevention and to enable RSPO member companies in Indonesia to be more compliant and transparent. The MoU provides an opportunity for RSPO and CIPE to review and enhance the capacity building programme in line with current needs and challenges within the industry, including the impact of COVID-19 and stricter regulatory requirements on the palm oil supply chain.
“Today’s MoU signing represents our commitment to offer solutions to manage corruption risks for RSPO’s members, to the benefit of all of society. In addition, implementing the anti- corruption and business integrity measures and programs will increase business sustainability,” says Frank Brown, Director Anti-Corruption & Governance Center.
The MoU will enable RSPO to promote its Code of Conduct and ensure that its members comply with its standards. It will also allow RSPO to leverage the private sector to drive market transformation, improve the performance of the palm oil industry, and increase uptake of certified sustainable palm oil.
A sustainable, competitive, and resilient palm oil sector will not only secure the long-term viability of the entire supply chain, but also the livelihoods of communities where oil palm is grown.
The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) was established in 1983 at the United States Chamber of Commerce to support democratic and economic development abroad. Efforts started in Latin America with initiatives to integrate thousands of unregistered small businesses into the “formal” economy, establish a regional business leadership training institute, and generate legislative advisories to inform policy. Over the past 40 years, CIPE has initiated more than 3,000 projects worldwide and is currently working on more than 300 programs and grants in over 80 countries.
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.