Standing Committee Standards & Certification


The continual expansion of the RSPO, - in membership, activities, global receptivity (both friendly and hostile), and issues it has to deal with, needs an increasing degree of distributed management for it to keep pace. Methods that attempt to involve the entire Executive Board (EB), let alone the entire organisation, in each and every detail will be unmanageable and waste time and money without necessarily resulting in better outcomes. Four standing committees 1) Standards & Certification, 2) Trade & Traceability, 3) Communications & Claims, and 4) Finance – could adequately cover most of the current work of the RSPO.

Each Standing Committee (SC) shall comprise of members from the Executive Board and from among RSPO members or their respective alternates. The Executive Board, at its sole discretion, may propose changes to the composition of the Standing Committee, for it to serve RSPO better. Membership is honorary and participation voluntary and all contributions duly acknowledged. Lack of positive involvement over a continuous period of 12 months will suggest withdrawal from the SC irrespective of notification or otherwise. The SC shall decide leadership and functionaries from among its members. The SC, at its behest, may invite non-RSPO member participation on terms and conditions it prefers, but such non-RSPO member participation cannot assume leadership of the SC. RSPO Secretariat will provide facilitation resources to all SCs.

The brief for the Standards & Certifications SC (S&C SC) derives from Article 3 of RSPO's by-laws, the relevant excerpts being - “a) research and development of definitions and criteria for the sustainable production and use of palm oil; b) undertake practical projects designed to facilitate implementation of sustainable best practices; c) development of solutions to practical problems related to the adoption and verification of best practices for plantation establishment and management, procurement, trade and logistics;”

Terms of Reference

A.   The members of the Standards & Certification (S&C SC) are as in Annex 1.
B.   The S&C SC shall be responsible for the following:
1.   Define sustainable palm oil production through stakeholder expertise and research.
2.   Develop criteria that singly and in aggregate reflect the definition.
3.   Construct measurable indicators for the various criteria.
4.   Adapt the criteria and indicators for the various socio-environmental conditions under which palm oil is produced without compromising criteria and definitions.
5.   Organise a credible mechanism for scrutinising and recording the production of RSPO defined sustainable palm oil in the various environments.
6.   Strengthen capacity to produce palm oil sustainably and resources to support monitoring of such production.