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RSPO Independent Smallholder Standard - 3rd Public Consultation

The public consultation has ended

In June 2017, the RSPO Board of Governors (BoG) approved the RSPO Smallholder Strategy which commits RSPO to develop new approaches to support greater inclusion of smallholders into the sustainable palm oil supply chain. The Smallholder Strategy sets out three objectives; to improve livelihoods, to increase market access, and to simplify the certification approach for smallholders. 

The inclusion of smallholders is fundamental for RSPO to achieve its desired impact as emphasised in the RSPO Theory of Change. Accordingly, a Smallholder Interim Group (SHIG) was formed to develop recommendations for a revised approach to smallholder inclusion via a simplification of the RSPO Standard. This has resulted in the development of a separate and new standard under the RSPO: the RSPO Independent Smallholder (ISH) Standard.

The new standard applies exclusively to independent smallholders as defined under the applicability definition of this Standard, taking into account the reality of the smallholder context and their needs. Smallholders qualified to apply the RSPO ISH Standard will be certified under the RSPO by complying with the Principles, Criteria and Indicators as set in the RSPO ISH Standard. The development of the overall process of the RSPO ISH Standard has been guided by the need to strike a balance between promoting greater inclusion of smallholders and ensuring that core sustainability requirements are upheld, as included in the Guiding Principles of the RSPO Smallholder Strategy. 

The RSPO ISH Standard presents a simplified process by introducing a phased approach of continuous improvement towards meeting all indicators of the Standard. Smallholders can enter the RSPO system if they can demonstrate compliance with the Eligibility indicators Standard and can remain in the system and claim benefits if they can demonstrate progress and meet Milestone A indicators within 2 years and Milestone B indicators 1 year later.

During this third public consultation you will find an overview of the Standard including the draft Principles, Criteria and Indicators,guidance for group managers, the assurance model to verify compliance and the market incentive mechanisms. The draft of the RSPO Independent Smallholder Standard is now open for public consultation. The public consultation period​ will last for 6​0 days, from the 10 April until and including 8 June 2019

You can download the draft text of the RSPO Independent Smallholder Standard below:


To provide and submit your feedback on the draft text of the RSPO Independent Smallholder Standard, you can access the online survey.


Face-to-face consultation workshops on the RSPO Independent Smallholder Standard will also be organised in six locations; pre-registration will be required. Please see below an overview of all the consultation workshops scheduled during the period of this public consultation. 

We very much encourage and welcome all comments and feedback.

Date Location Language For more information please contact
2 May 2019 Sandakan, Malaysia Bahasa Malaysia & English Kertijah Abdul Kadir
3 May 2019 Jakarta, Indonesia Bahasa Indonesia Guntur Cahyo Prabowo
10 May 2019 Krabi, Thailand Thai Aaina Karina M Senawi
22 May 2019 La Ceiba, Honduras Spanish Edna Katherin Ibarra
23 May 2019 Bogota, Colombia Spanish Edna Katherin Ibarra
4 June 2019 Accra, Ghana English Elikplim Dziwornu

The second public consultation took place in June 2018, for reference please find the first draft of the RSPO ISH Standard here.