In February and March, RSPO’s Secretary General Darrel Webber embarked on a European Road Show to meet with RSPO members and stakeholders in several European countries. The visit commenced in the Netherlands where on 26 February the RSPO hosted a cocktail for its Executive Board members to meet with local members, in partnership with the Dutch Task Force for Sustainable Palm Oil. The event was addressed by Dutch MP Raymond de Roon, Chair of the Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Committee of the Dutch Parliament, and it saw the participation of some 80 industry and NGO representatives across all the seven stakeholder groups represented in the RSPO. The event was a great opportunity to showcase the work done by the Dutch Task Force for Sustainable Palm Oil in aligning the demand for CSPO and sending a strong signal of commitment to CSPO to palm oil growers and suppliers. Almost 30% of the palm oil consumed in the Dutch market is covered by CSPO.

Germany was the next stop where on March 1, around 30 RSPO members gathered in Bonn for a meeting with RSPO’s Secretary General, Darrel Webber, kindly hosted by GIZ, the German Organisation for International Cooperation, and the German Palm Oil Forum to discuss the status of CSPO in Germany. On March 5 and 6 Darrel Webber was in Paris to meet local members, stakeholders and officials, including French Senator Catherine Procaccia, President of the French-Indonesian friendship group of the French Senate. During the meeting Darrel presented the current work of the RSPO in Europe and worldwide. A French summary of the meeting can be found here:
During his visit to Paris, Darrel met also the National Food Industry Association (ANIA).

The UK visit focused on media engagements. On march 7, Darrel met the Financial Times, The Economist, ENDS Report, The Grocer, and Ethical Corporation. The RSPO road-show ended in Switzerland, where Darrel attended the launch event of the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards in Geneva. The UNFSS is a platform created to provide information and analysis on voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) with a particular focus on the potential value of VSS as tools for developing countries to achieve their sustainable development goals. During his stay in Geneva Darrel Webber was interviewed by Radio Television Suisse (RTS) and the Swiss daily Le Temps. On 25 March Darrel met with RSPO’s members in Zurich. The meeting was kindly hosted by WWF Switzerland and it highlighted the significant progress of Swiss industries in the uptake of CSPO.

Darrel Webber: “The European RSPO Road Show was a great success and I am inspired by the actions taken in the different countries to transform the market to be sustainable. The European industry has a key role to play in accelerating demand of CSPO. The national endeavours for sustainable palm oil that are active or being formed in several European countries contribute to this goal and RSPO therefore welcomes these initiatives and supports them fully.”

Two articles on palm oil were published in the major Swiss French-speaking daily newspaper Le Temps, including an interview with Darrel Webber.  

In an interview with ENDS (published on 8 March), the RSPO Secretary General discussed UK industry commitments and its rules review.

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