Many firsts for RSPO;
First million hectares of certified sustainable palm oil; First certification in Brazil;
5million metric tonnes of certified sustainable palm oil

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 25 August 2011 – Just 3 years since the certification of sustainable palm oil (CSPO) by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a multi stakeholder initiative, the industry reaches a turning point by hitting its first I million hectares of certified production area around the world.

The achievement follows the certification of the mills and supply base of Agropalma, a leader in South America’s palm oil industry. It also marks the inaugural certification of sustainable palm oil in Brazil. With the certification of Agropalma, the global production of CSPO now boasts close to 5 million tonnes, representing a rapidly increasing volume of 10 percent of global palm oil production.

Darrel Webber, RSPO Secretary General.

Darrel Webber, RSPO Secretary General, welcomes the achievement: “We are undoubtedly at the threshold of significant transformation with much affirmative advancement. We must continue to contend with challenges. Only then, can we celebrate the exhilaration of victory, as we do today.

With the certification of Agropalma in Brazil, RSPO marks a new phase of expansion in Latin America. We commend and applaud Agropalma as well as our RSPO members from around the world for their leadership, contribution and dedication towards promoting sustainable palm oil and for seeking harmony through diversity. Our priority is to fortify RSPO as a truly global effort in the production of sustainable palm oil according to good environmental, social and economic standards. Today’s landmark achievement encourages us to continue our vision and mission around the world”.

Marcello Brito, Commercial and Sustainability Director of the Agropalma Group comments: “The certification ensures the viability of sustainable production at the moment when we observe an increase in deforestation in the Amazon sphere. With this achievement, the Agropalma Group clearly illustrates the feasibility of developing a major crop production in the Brazilian Amazon region, according to the most relevant economic and social/environmental criteria, thus becoming an example to other producers and a new paradigm in the palm oil production in Brazil.”

Denilson Ferreira, Agroenergy Coordinator of Ministry of Agriculture in Brazil joins in the celebration: “The RSPO certification of Agropalma is a historic achievement to Brazilian agroindustry, a real source of pride. It positions the country on the world map, setting an inspiring benchmark of how Brazil exemplifies sustainable and responsible production. Agropalma should be recognized for inspiring the formulation of policies that constitute the Sustainable Palm Oil Production Program in Brazil, especially regarding biodiversity protection and social inclusion. It creates a deep conviction that we are doing what is right and that we are doing it in the right way. Congratulations to Agropalma.”

Webber concludes:  “RSPO is confident that the certification of Agropalma will also bring concrete benefits to the local communities where the company operates. RSPO Principles & Criteria include social criteria for plantations which are directed at strengthening local people’s livelihoods.”

RSPO membership has increased by a whopping 30 percent since the beginning of 2011 with over 650 member organizations to date from 50 countries around the globe represented by a broad spectrum of industries from consumer goods manufacturers, cosmetics; processors & traders; the financial sector; retailers; and non- governmental organizations.   As members of RSPO, these organizations are coming together to be a part of an ever increasing group of companies that are united behind one important mission: to transform the market for palm oil to one that is both environmentally and socially sustainable.

About RSPO

In response to the urgent and pressing global call for sustainably produced palm oil, 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. The seat of the association is in Zurich, Switzerland, while the secretariat is currently based in Kuala Lumpur with a satellite office in Jakarta.

RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from seven sectors of the palm oil industry – 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 – to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.

Such multi-stakeholder representation is mirrored in the governance structure of RSPO such that seats in the Executive Board and project level 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 to bring group-specific agendas to the roundtable, facilitating traditionally adversarial stakeholders and business competitors to work together towards a common objective and making decisions by consensus.


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