RSPO continues to intensify its efforts in promoting the development of sustainable palm oil in China and encouraging consumers to prioritise environmental protection. Its participation in the 2020 China Shop Expo recently provided an excellent opportunity to reach out and engage with retailers and consumers to highlight the role they can plan in supporting sustainable palm oil to protect global rainforests, biodiversity, and local communities.
The Expo was organised by the China Chain Store and Franchise Association (CCFA), from 19 to 21 November, in conjunction with the country’s most important retail event – the 2020 China National Retail Congress.
Using a series of entertaining and informative videos and presentations, RSPO Secretariat’s China staff introduced visitors to the concept of sustainable palm oil. They also demonstrated the positive impact RSPO certification has in oil palm producing countries, as well as across the entire supply chain. RSPO also used orangutans as an example to deliver a visual presentation of its efforts to protect biodiversity.
Amidst its rapid post-pandemic recovery, the Chinese economy has proven to be highly resilient and is increasingly being driven by the ongoing rebound in consumption. As the recovery continues, the expansion of China’s consumption and procurement in support of sustainable standards is expected to make a significant contribution to global efforts in safeguarding the environment.
“As a leading player in supporting sustainable consumption in China, RSPO has been playing a positive role in encouraging companies to develop sustainable procurement policies and drive greater awareness among its members on the importance of standards and certification for sustainable palm oil,” said CCFA Director of Sustainable Consumption Promotion Department, Wang Wenhua.
“As China is the world’s second largest consumer of palm oil, we hope that more Chinese enterprises will participate in the procurement of forest-friendly products and practice environmental responsibility, advocate responsible production and consumption, and promote green consumption together with consumers," Wang Wenhua added.
RSPO has also been working closely with the China Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products (CFNA), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) China, in driving sustainable palm oil development in the country. In 2018, they jointly established the China Sustainable Palm Oil Alliance.
According to WWF Director of Sustainable Food Consumption and Green Supply Chain Programme in Beijing, Yu Xin, "RSPO has been working with WWF and other parties to plan environmental campaigns and raise consumer awareness through education, which has successfully increased public awareness and concern about the sustainability of commodities.”
“Public recognition of RSPO has increased from 5% in 2015 to 21% this year, according to a survey in China. The survey also showed that 33% of consumers are willing to pay a certain premium for sustainable products," said Yu Xin.
RSPO’s China Representative, Teng Feifei, said they were pleased to see the interest and passion from the representatives of various industries towards green consumption and biodiversity conservation at the Expo.
“Consumers have become more environmentally conscious after the COVID-19 pandemic, hence the market competitiveness of sustainable products has also been rising rapidly. Moving forward, RSPO will continue to support China’s green and sustainable development strategies through more concrete actions," added Teng Feifei.