RSPO delivers new standard for smallholders in sustainable palm oil
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has announced its commitment to supporting greater inclusion of smallholders into the sustainable palm oil supply chain, through the adoption of the RSPO Independent Smallholder (ISH) Standard.
Members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) have made a commitment to supporting greater inclusion of smallholders into the sustainable palm oil supply chain, through the adoption of the RSPO Independent Smallholder (ISH) Standard.
The recently endorsed requirements and the implementation of Shared Responsibility rules for members have now been set in motion, and while this is not a new concept for RSPO, Shared Responsibility reinforces the Code of Conduct for members and extends the reach of the 2018 Principles and Criteria (P&C).
“Through the new rules for Shared Responsibility, I expect all members to actively participate and work together to increase the demand for sustainable palm oil with mutual accountability throughout the supply chain,” said Datuk Darrel Webber, Chief Executive Officer of RSPO.
Dato Carl Bek-Nielsen, RSPO Co-Chair and Chief Executive Director of United Plantations Berhad, added: “Finally, the rules of shared responsibility will balance the scales and the downstream players will join us on this journey – not just in promoting the production of sustainable palm oil but equally as important – the uptake of sustainable palm oil. I am hopeful, and see this as the cement in a brick wall, without which, the wall will crumble.”
The newly adopted RSPO ISH Standard implements requirements and tools to consider diversity, capacity and incentives, whilst ensuring that core sustainability criteria are upheld. “This standard allows us to achieve our ambition of being a force for good and a force for growth, driving livelihood improvement for smallholders,” said Girish Deshpande, Global Surfactants Business Planner and Palm Sustainability Leader of Procter & Gamble UK.
A new initiative, the RSPO Smallholder Trainer Academy (STA) has also been launched, which aims to increase the resources available for smallholders globally. By adopting a ‘train-the-trainer’ approach, RSPO hopes to reach larger numbers of small-scale oil palm farmers through agricultural best practice training. “We cannot leave smallholders behind. Supporting them with training is vital to make sustainable palm oil production inclusive,” said Narno Sayoto Irontiko, Chairman of FORTASBI (Association for Smallholder Farmers).