Chengdu, China, July 13th, 2016 – In conjunction with the 8th China International Cereals & Oils Industry Summit, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) successfully hosted the first RSPO China Forum: China Sustainable Palm Oil Supply Chain Forum in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. This year’s forum reiterated the importance of purchasing palm oil from certified sustainable sources, and showcased efforts made by Chinese and international enterprises and organizations designed to promote certified sustainable palm oil. The forum also introduced the developments of the RSPO in China and the expectation of the future perspective of sustainable palm oil and called for multi-stakeholder cooperation towards further progress in China.
Multi-stakeholders focus and discuss on the ways of developing sustainable palm oil in China
China is the world’s second largest importer and third largest consumer of palm oil. In the past two years, the average import volume of palm oil was around 6 million tons. The expected annual growth of demand for palm oil in China is 10%, meaning that by 2020 the demand for palm oil in China is expected to reach 12 million tons. Mr. Bian Zhenhu, president of the China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce (CFNA) said during the meeting: “The discussion and efforts on achieving the goal of sustainable palm oil development has never stopped within the industry. Certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) has a great opportunity to lead market transformation. With everyone’s support, we will try our best to integrate the strength of every related enterprise in the chamber to increase the procurement of CSPO, promote the transformation of China’s economy, and achieve sustainable development.”
As one of the co-organizers of the forum, the RSPO attaches great importance to the influence of China’s imports and exports of sustainable palm oil in transforming the global palm oil market and is committed to making RSPO certified sustainable palm oil the norm in China. Datuk Darrel Webber, Chief Executive Officer of the RSPO, mentioned during his opening speech: “The RSPO pays great attention to the development of sustainable palm oil in China. This is not only because of the volume of palm oil China is consuming, but also because China is taking responsibility on such issues and is determined to achieve its sustainable development targets. We hope that our best practice in the sustainable palm oil sector can help China achieve overall market transformation. This would be a significant milestone for the countries which produce palm oil. The RSPO is to fully support and help China stand in the forefront of global promotion around sustainable palm oil through a series of strategic initiatives.”
RSPO global membership has also grown by 15% since 2015 and now stands at 2945. RSPO certification is gradually gaining global recognition and has become the first standard of sustainable palm oil certification, as well as the most comprehensive, most reliable and most organized standard with good practice on promoting environmental conservation, agricultural and social development.
The RSPO and its members actively promote the development of sustainable palm oil in China
The RSPO maintains active communication and cooperation with Chinese governmental institutions, industry associations, domestic and international enterprises, promoting the consumption and utilization of sustainable palm oil in China. Stefano Savi, Global Outreach & Engagement Director of the RSPO, mentioned during his keynote speech: “In the future, the RSPO hopes to increase awareness and understanding of RSPO’s vision among Chinese NGOs, domestic and overseas enterprises in an attempt to gain further recognition and support from the Chinese government, as well as attracting more stakeholders to cooperate with in order to achieve the goal of 10% market uptake of CSPO in China by 2020.”
In 2016, 9 new members in China, including major sustainable palm oil importers such as Sinograin Oils Corporation, joined the RSPO. The total number of RSPO members in China has reached 52. Among these members, Sinograin is a large key state-owned enterprise whose establishment was approved by the State Council. As a significant implement for China to adjust the grain market, Sinograin is very important to national security and the economy. Sinograin’s great impact on China’s agricultural product and food sector allows the cooperation between Sinograin and the RSPO to have a positive and deep influence on the promotion of sustainable palm oil in China.
Mr. Wang Zhigang, General Manager of Public Relations & Government Affairs at Julong Trading Co., Ltd., said: “China is the second largest importer of palm oil and still has a growing demand for sustainable palm oil in the future. Julong will further maintain the close relationship with the RSPO and make our contribution to the sustainable development of palm oil in China.”
“As one of the companies that actively advocates for the RSPO sustainable palm oil certification, Mars has achieved 100% RSPO Mass Balance sourcing. We have also participated in numerous activities which promotes sustainable palm oil in China. At the same time, Mars actively educates our suppliers and associates on the importance of using sustainable palm oil,” said Ms. Wang Yueyue, Sustainable Procurement Manager of Mars, which owns brands including Dove and Snickers.
Jointly organized by CFNA, RSPO and WWF China, this international forum was attended by government agencies, media, traders, processors, manufacturers and retailers. Representatives from many global companies were present, including Wilmar, COFCO, Julong, Mars, HSBC, Unilever, Procter & Gamble and L'Oréal.