KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, 28/02/2019 – The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Secretariat has been instructed to terminate the membership of PT Salim Ivomas Pratama Tbk (SIMP) and PT PP London Sumatra Indonesia Tbk (PT Lonsum) for failure to undertake the necessary steps to comply with the 2 November 2018 decision delivered by the RSPO Complaints Panel (the “Complaints Panel”). A final Letter of Notice was issued to SIMP by the Complaints Panel on 4 February 2019, granting SIMP the opportunity as Parent to undertake necessary actions to implement the decision on 2 November 2018. SIMP was also expected to revert with their plans on how they intended to ensure compliance by 8 February 2019, failing which the Complaints Panel will proceed with immediate action.
On 8 February 2019, the RSPO Secretariat was informed by SIMP of their intention to resign and they had subsequently submitted the requisite 30-day resignation notice in accordance with the RSPO Statutes. Concurrently, in response to the ongoing Complaint, the Complaints Panel has delivered their final decision resulting in the termination of the membership of the parent company and subsidiaries within the 30-day resignation notice period.
Prior to the Complaints Panel’s 28 February 2019 decision, the RSPO Secretariat was directed by the Complaints Panel to instruct SIMP’s subsidiary PT Lonsum’s Certification Bodies to suspend their certification certificates, for failure to undertake the necessary steps to comply with the decision delivered by the Complaints Panel on 2 November 2018.
SIMP subsidiary, PT Lonsum, was given numerous reminders by the RSPO Secretariat to comply with the Complaints Panel’s decision, and was also advised on their right to appeal, right to submit an application for a stay of implementation, and/or the possibility to request for an extension of the deadline to comply with the Complaints Panel’s decision.
In line with the RSPO Code of Conduct, members are expected to act in good faith to ensure any breaches or non-compliant actions are resolved in a constructive and timely manner. Failure to do so can lead to the suspension or termination of a member based on the RSPO Statutes and the Complaints and Appeals Procedures.
RSPO Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Darrel Webber, said, “As a voluntary multi-stakeholder organisation, the RSPO relies on its members to commit to the standard. We know that grower members have many challenges to meet our standard, and that with the adoption of our new Principles & Criteria 2018, the challenges may be even greater. But we also know that consumers and companies from Indonesia to China, to the United States and India are calling for even greater transparency and accountability of the industry. This means all of our 4,000 plus members must operate in good faith and in accordance with the RSPO Code of Conduct and other key documents. Together, we aim to strengthen social development, environmental protection, and economic prosperity across the sustainable palm oil value chain.”
SIMP’s RSPO Certificates and RSPO Trademark Licenses, as well as those of its subsidiaries such as PT PP London Sumatra Indonesia Tbk (PT Lonsum), are no longer be valid, and any trade of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) by the organisation shall end.
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The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders. RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from the seven sectors of the palm oil industry including oil palm producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation NGOs, and social or developmental NGOs.
This multi-stakeholder representation is mirrored in the governance structure of RSPO, such that seats in the Board of Governors, Steering Committees and Working Groups are fairly allocated to each sector. In this way, RSPO lives out the philosophy of the "roundtable" by giving equal rights to each stakeholder group, facilitating traditionally adversarial stakeholders in working together to reach decisions by consensus, and achieving RSPO’s shared vision of making sustainable palm oil the norm.
The seat of the association is in Zurich, Switzerland, while the secretariat is currently based in Kuala Lumpur with satellite offices in Beijing (CN), Bogotá (CO), Jakarta (ID), London (UK), New York (USA), and Zoetermeer (NL).