In February, the RSPO Secretariat, with support from the Japan Sustainable Palm Oil Network (JaSPON), organised a series of workshops for the different RSPO membership categories in Japan on a range of topics, including RSPO Trademark use, Supply Chain Certification, and membership.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which has now been postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19 named RSPO as the recommended scheme for certified sustainable palm oil in their Sustainable Sourcing Code. The code was created to ensure that all products and services procured by the Organising Committee during the preparation and operation of the Games are sustainable.

With subsequent renewed interest in the RSPO Standards, the workshops were very well attended by approximately 110 individuals from a range of sectors, including consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, processors and traders, oleochemical companies, and food service companies.

Javin Tan, RSPO’s Strategic Project Director, and Dr. Inke van der Sluijs, Head of European Operations, worked with the members and potential members on how to meet the requirements of theOlympics' Sustainable Sourcing Code. Participants were interested to learn more about the use of the RSPO Trademark on pack and in other consumer facing materials. There were also many questions about how to achieve supply chain certification for production facilities and what the requirements are for other supply chain actors.

In an emerging market for RSPO, the team were excited to see products already bearing the RSPO Credits Trademark. “Well done Saraya team! said Dr. Inke van der Sluijs. “We know these are incredibly difficult and trying times with the Covid-19 global pandemic but our team are ready to support brands in Japan and elsewhere globally, with their sustainability goals both now and in the future,”

RSPO has seen impressive growth in membership in Japan, from 8 members in 2016 to 187 members today. This increased interest in the Japanese market led to the recruitment of two local consultants and the organisation of these workshops. Moving forward, there will be a full-time RSPO representative hired to better serve our members.

If you are interested to join JaSPON or have questions please contact [email protected] for more information in Japanese and English.

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