KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, 14 JANUARY 2020: Effective immediately, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Complaints Panel has suspended the Principles and Criteria (P&C) certification processes for all uncertified units of Felda Global Ventures Holdings’ (FGV Holdings) and reimposed its suspension on FGV Holding’s Kilang Sawit Serting for non-compliance of the Complaints Panel Decision dated 28 November 2018.
The Complaints Panel, an independent body made up of eminent professionals from industry and civil society, has reviewed the audit reports and found the results to be unsatisfactory. As directed by the Complaints Panel, the RSPO Secretariat has instructed the certification bodies to re-suspend FGV Holding’s Principles & Criteria certificate for Kilang Sawit Serting and its supply bases, pursuant to Section 4.12.6 of the RSPO Certifications Systems for Principles & Criteria (June 2017). In addition, all work on achieving certification at FGV’s uncertified management units is suspended. The Decision Letter, dated 13 January 2020, which details the suspension and all related sanctions can be accessed here.
RSPO Interim CEO Bakhtiar Talhah said, “All members are accountable to the commitments they have made, and the Principles and Criteria of our organisation. We rely on our Complaints Panel to enforce these rules in order to ensure the credibility of the RSPO. It is the duty of all members to ensure that human and labour rights are protected and all Complaints Panel directives must be complied with and implemented within the given timeline. These are matters of the utmost importance to me and to our membership, and we must remain vigilant so that these issues are eradicated from the industry.”
The Secretariat’s Investigation and Monitoring Unit (IMU) will continue to oversee and review quarterly reports submitted by FGV Holdings. Lifting of the suspension and sanctions is conditional upon FGV Holding’s satisfactory implementation of the Complaints Panel decision, verified by audits conducted by Certification Bodies in the period of 13 January 2020 and 31 July 2020. In the event of further non-compliance, the Complaints Panel may take additional necessary actions against FGV Holdings as stipulated in Section 12.9 of the Complaints and Appeals Procedure.
The RSPO remains committed to transparency and accountability, and the independent Complaints Panel is firmly part of this objective process. Through the P&C 2018, the RSPO works to ensure that adequate protection to the rights of workers (and their families) on plantations are in line with international and local standards including the ILO, SDG principles, UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (2011), Abolition of Forced Labour, Minimum Age, Worst Forms of Child Labour, and more. The RSPO relies on audit reports from certified growers assessments and also its grievance mechanism, as well as the feedback from external stakeholders, to measure its performance on human rights.
The Secretariat encourages any stakeholder or supply chain members with questions or concerns about the impact of this decision to contact their relevant regional RSPO representative at their earliest convenience.
Further information on the full complaint against FGV Holdings can be found here.
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