June 2019 marked the start of a new series of events for RSPO and like-minded partners with our first ever Sustainable Palm Oil Dialogue, held in Utrecht, Netherlands. An event that is much like our organisation – built on collaboration, bringing diverse groups together, and sometimes heated debates – 2020 is set to be a big year for Sustainable Palm Oil Dialogues across the globe and we want you to be a part of it!

Why create the Sustainable Dialogue Series?
In addition to our major Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT) held each year, RSPO wants to host smaller, more flexible events in more markets, to scale up our impact. Our goal is to engage with other sustainable brands, organisations, certification schemes, NGOs and other partners to take a broader look at sustainability as a whole by providing a platform for challenges to be highlighted and solutions be addressed through collaboration with like-minded partners. 

This doesn’t mean we can’t host larger events, as evidenced by our Latin American Conference, which is hosted every two years and scheduled to be held from 3-5 March, 2020 in Campeche, Mexico. It’s just that as the organisation continues to grow, there is also a need for these smaller, more flexible series of events. 

When and where is the next Sustainable Dialogue?
Between February and October 2020, RSPO will co-host a total of four Sustainable Dialogues, with the first kicking off in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 6-7 February. On 30 April we’ll head to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs for the Sustainable Dialogue-North America and then Frankfurt, Germany will play host to our second annual Sustainable Palm Oil Dialogue-Europe on Tuesday 23 June 2020. The fourth event is to be held in October in New Delhi, with more details to come soon.

What to expect from upcoming Sustainable Dialogues?
Sri Lanka & India
RSPO’s Country Head for India, Kamal Prakash Seth said, “We are excited to bring two Sustainable Palm Oil Dialogue events to the region in 2020; the first in Colombo, Sri Lanka in February and the second in October in New Delhi, India. While our event in Sri Lanka will be the first in the country to introduce RSPO to the local stakeholders in palm oil production and supply chains; our event in India will keep up the momentum built last year and specifically engage popular Indian brands for sustainable procurement. RSPO members and partners operating in Sri Lanka should register and confirm their participation as soon as possible and for those operating in India, please also reach out to us to discuss potential collaboration and/ or participation.” [email protected]

North America
“The U.S. and Canada have seen tremendous growth since 2015, in fact the U.S. has grown to become the largest country in terms of RSPO membership, and we felt it was time to bring a public RSPO event to the region. North America has specific challenges and opportunities, and the ability to play an outsized role in the sustainable palm oil supply chain. We want to create an event that harnesses that,” said Cameron Plese, RSPO’s Deputy U.S. Representative. Click this link for more info. 

Head of European Operations, Dr Inke van der Sluijs said, “After a successful inaugural dialogue in Utrecht last year, we are delighted to bring the event to Frankfurt on June 23, 2020 with our co-hosts the European Palm Oil Alliance (EPOA) and IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative. As many of our stakeholders will know, we used to host annual European Roundtable (EURT) conferences to debate and document some of the key issues identified in the European market. This new ‘dialogue’ model offers even greater opportunity to collaborate, and with this in mind we will be inviting members and stakeholders to contribute to the programme and pitch their ideas – more on this next month!” 

And for those looking further ahead, RSPO’s 18th Annual Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT18) is set to take place from 8 – 11 November 2020 in Indonesia – more details coming soon. 

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