The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Board of Governors (BoG) has announced the retirement of the RSPO NEXT scheme at the expiration of the license certificates that have been issued to date. The RSPO Secretariat and RSPO BoG would like to take this opportunity to congratulate those members that achieved RSPO NEXT Certification, demonstrating their commitment to going above and beyond, and helping to drive change and improvement in the production of sustainable palm oil.
In consultation with the RSPO membership certified under RSPO NEXT, it was agreed that continuing the voluntary scheme was no longer a relevant tool for the market and a recommendation to formally end the programme was made by the RSPO Secretariat to the RSPO BoG.
After the adoption of the RSPO 2013 Principles and Criteria (P&C), the RSPO NEXT scheme was endorsed by the RSPO BoG in November 2015 to meet the request of some members for additional standards that would more directly combat deforestation and implement forest protection safeguards. Enabling members to go beyond the 2013 standards, RSPO NEXT was a voluntary set of advanced add-on criteria that included; No Deforestation, No Fire, No Planting on Peat, Reduction of GHGs, and Respect for Human Rights and Transparency. The most recent revision of the RSPO Standards for growers, the RSPO 2018 P&C, not only incorporates the RSPO NEXT criteria but goes well beyond its objectives and includes many other important advancements.
Six grower members have achieved RSPO NEXT certification since its introduction in 2015. By April 2017, Colombian-based agribusiness, DAABON Group, became the first in the world to achieve RSPO NEXT, including 122 smallholders that supply to the group’s mill. Later that year, United Plantations became the first Malaysian grower and the first in the region to achieve NEXT status. These members were joined in their leading stance on certification by IOI (Ladang Sabah), Agroaceite S.A. Guatemala, Aceites S.A Colombia and Palmaceite S.A Colombia.
RSPO members are united behind the existing standards, and look forward to seeing greater demand for certified sustainable palm oil with the guidelines for ‘Shared Responsibility’ which call for all members, along the supply chain, to “Mobilise, Act and Transform” to fulfil the common mission to make sustainable palm oil the norm.