With a festive ceremony to mark the occasion, the RSPO today celebrated the recent certification of the first 25,000 oil palm family farms and their contribution to sustainable palm oil production.
As part of the RSPO's 8th Roundtable conference, held in Jakarta, Indonesia, RSPO President Jan Kees Vis honored representatives of five smallholder communities and the palm oil mill owners which they supply. "These smallholders prove that RSPO is not and should not be just about large palm oil producers and users," Mr. Vis said. "Over the next few years, hundreds of thousands more smallholders will become certified producers of sustainable palm oil."
RSPO estimates that there are 3 million smallholders globally, more than a million of which live in Indonesia alone. Millions of family members further depend on those oil palm farms. Smallholders typically cultivate just a few hectares of land, with yields far below those of large-scale plantations. Getting training and agricultural resources can help them multiply yields, grow their income and increase palm oil supply without the need to convert forests into plantations.
The RSPO has made special rules that enable smallholders to become certified. RSPO also uses parts of the proceeds of sustainable palm oil sales to help smallholders finance the audits.
"RSPO must and will continue to reach out to smallholders and enable far more of them to participate in the supply of certified sustainable palm oil," Mr. Vis said in Jakarta.
The ceremony honored two Malaysian companies (Felda and Keresa Plantations), two Indonesian companies (PT. Hindoli and PT. Agrowiratama), and two companies in Papua New Guinea (New Britain Palm Oil Ltd and Hargy Oil Palms Ltd).
RSPO celebrates first 25,000 certified palm oil family farms.pdf