Kuala Lumpur, October 11 2011. Multi-stakeholder initiative, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), is pleased to announce a surge in market uptake of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). 70% CSPO uptake was recorded in September 2011, the highest by month this year and significantly higher than 48% recorded same time in September last year. This positive development has been urgently awaited. Uptake for CSPO increased from 25.3% in 2009 to 46.2% in 2010.
Secretary General of RSPO, Darrel Webber also commented that: “A significant increase of market commitment to and uptake of CSPO is a key priority for RSPO. The RSPO is beyond merely a certification scheme or standard. We are a multi stakeholder initiative that represents the production front; demand end and everything in between. The uptake has been steadily increasing, but it continues to require accelerated commitment. Through the annual communications on progress requirement by the RSPO, significant number of retailers, consumer goods manufacturers and processors and traders have committed to working towards sourcing 100% CSPO ingredients in their products by dates ranging from 2012 to 2015. The RSPO has the dynamics and system to make this work; it is only a matter of time.”
RSPO President Jan Kees Vis, also Director Sustainable Sourcing Development at Unilever, is pleased with the increase: “The current number sparks hopes that a breakthrough is near. Historically there has always been a delay in market take up versus production increase, as buyers of large companies have to commit as long as a year in advance to buy raw materials. So they will only sign on to what they are sure they can actually purchase from the market in the future. Significant uptake of CSPO should be a clear target that all stakeholders on the demand side should be committed to work towards.”
The RSPO is fully committed to further promote market uptake, according to Vis: “Our newly launched RSPO trademark will boost consumer awareness and demand for CSPO. We will also stimulate commitment by nations and companies to make the transition by a stated moment, comparable to that of the Netherlands, where the industry has committed to source CSPO only by 2015. The WWF Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard 2011 – that measures commitment and performance of over 130 major retailers and manufacturers to CSPO – to be launched in November – will also be of great importance.”
On behalf of the Retailers Palm Oil Group, which comprises some of the most established retailers around the world, Belinda Howell commented: “We fully understand that growers that have made significant investments and efforts to achieve RSPO certification have been frustrated by the apparent lack of take-up in the market. The retailers are working very hard with their suppliers to source CSPO ingredients for their products through the complex palm oil supply chains”.
One good example is UK retailer Waitrose. Technical Manager Compliance John Clague: “Our target is to ensure all palm oil in Waitrose branded products are RSPO certified by December 2012. To date, 68% of the palm oil used in our products is from segregated CSPO sources predominantly through the dedication of our biscuits and bar soap suppliers. Our biscuit suppliers have been using CSPO ingredients in our products since December 2010. Our bar soap range has been labelled with the RSPO Trademark and was introduced into our stores from July 2011. We will continue to support the RSPO through the purchase of green palm credits to cover our remaining palm oil usage until the project is completed."