A growing number of companies that use palm oil products are now expected to have RSPO certification. But what does this involve in practice? The RSPO Supply Chain Standard states that all companies within the supply chain that take legal ownership and physically handle RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) products at a location under control of the company, including outsourced contractors, should be certified. This RSPO requirement applies up to and includes the end product manufacturer.
Although the requirements are clear on who needs to get certified, it is important to realise that certification is only useful if you can source RSPO certified oil palm products from RSPO certified suppliers. It is not possible to sell any RSPO oil palm product if you cannot source your raw materials as RSPO products from an RSPO certified supplier.
What is RSPO Supply Chain Group Certification?
The RSPO Supply Chain Group Certificate is a RSPO supply chain certification, in which several independent companies/entities can participate as a member of the group. Under the supervision of a Group Manager, members actively participate in the RSPO supply chain. The Group Manager is responsible for supervising and checking all participants in the Group Certification. Therefore, all group members will be audited annually by the Group Manager.
On behalf of the RSPO, the Group Certification process is supervised by an RSPO accredited Certification Body, which annually monitors the Group Manager and a selection of members, participating in the Group Certification process. Throughout the certification process, all members will be audited by the authority at least once.
Why RSPO Supply Chain Group Certification?
Among the companies that need to get certified, many only use a small amount of oil palm products. For those, it can be a major burden to become RSPO-certified. This is why RSPO gives those companies the possibility of joining a Group Certificate.
With the RSPO Supply Chain Group Certification, companies that use up to 500 metric tonnes (MT) of oil palm products per year can become certified at a low cost, as the costs are shared among the Group Members (a Group Member does not need to become an individual RSPO member). Compared to (individual) RSPO Corporate Certification, the overall costs are substantially lower.
Another reason why certification is becoming more accessible is because all consultancy services are included in the annual group membership fee. This way, it is guaranteed that all ongoing efforts required to remain certified are reduced to an absolute minimum. All documentation is kept up-to-date and relevant changes will be communicated and handled by the Group Manager.
Participation criteria for RSPO Supply Chain Group Certification
Participation in a Group Certificate is open to all companies that:
- can be classified as legitimate, registered legal palm supply chain entities and
- use oil palm products in quantities up to 500 MT per year.
To be clear, the maximum amount of oil palm products includes all oil palm inputs used within the company and not only the inputs that are going to be used within RSPO products!
Group Certification is not restricted to a single country and can be performed across borders. Moreover, although the RSPO Supply Chain Certification Standard mentions that group membership is limited for organizations that employ a maximum of 100 full-time employees, the RSPO Trade and Traceability Standing Committee recently decided that this limit is no longer applicable.
Do you need more information?
Do you need to know more about RSPO Group Certification? Please contact one of the Group Managers mentioned below.
Group manager RSPO: Mr. B.E. Wevers
Group manager RSPO: Mrs. L. Draye