RSPO EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY CONCLUDES WITH REVISED PRINCIPLES AND CRITERIA APPROVED
|Posted on 25 April 2013|
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KUALA LUMPUR, 25 APRIL 2013 – The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) held its Extraordinary General Assembly (EGA) for all Ordinary Members to deliberate and vote on Resolution 5a for the ‘Adoption of Principles and Criteria for the Production of Sustainable Palm Oil (2013)’.
A total of 222 RSPO members from the seven sectors voted at the EGA, which includes proxies. The Resolution 5a on the revised P&C 2013 was accepted by the General Assembly; while the Resolution 5b on e-voting was deferred till the next General Assembly (GA10) at the upcoming RT11 in Medan. The change of date is primarily aimed at facilitating more discussions on the main purpose of the resolution which is to facilitate RSPO’s growing membership base to play a part towards the vision of RSPO.
Jan Kees Vis, President of the RSPO, opened the session by presenting the latest progress updates on the RSPO with regards to membership and organizational growth. He also highlighted the plans by the RSPO on market uptake of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) through key initiatives that include an upcoming event in Berlin to engage the European market players as well as close cooperation with the various National Endeavours in Europe, which includes the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and United Kingdom, amongst others.
It was also shared that the RSPO has a strong financial standing, which allows for further strategic investments in the areas of Smallholders, Dispute Settlement Facility as well as mechanisms to demonstrate tangible impact of sustainable initiatives on the ground.
Prior to the voting process, a statement was read on behalf of a coalition of German companies supporting the revised P&C, having welcomed the changes as much more consistent and coherent. However, they also expressed a lack of satisfaction in the outcome of the P&C, especially in the areas of greenhouse gas emissions, peat land and on the use of pesticides. It was also put on record that Germany acknowledges the relatively low uptake of CSPO but provides assurance that the industry in “”Germany is working towards a clear 100 per cent commitment of CSPO. Likewise, they also urged the members of RSPO to mirror this commitment by addressing the numerous non compliances by members.
The current P&C 2007 was reviewed by the RSPO Principles and Criteria Review Taskforce from 2012 to 2013 after being applied for five years by RSPO members. The objective of the review was to further improve the relevance and effectiveness of the P&C for its members to ensure that RSPO along with its standards remain up-to-date and progressive in order to achieve its vision and mission.
The review process involved two public consultations and four physical Taskforce meetings, in accordance to the best practices standards by ISEAL. Consensus on the revised P&C was finally reached following months of intense, meticulous deliberations by Oil Palm Growers (from Malaysia, Indonesia and the Rest of the World i.e. Latin America, Africa, Oceania and other Asian countries such as Thailand and Cambodia), Processors & Traders, Consumer Goods Manufacturers, Retailers, Social as well as Environmental NGOs.
The revised text for the P&C was agreed upon by the Taskforce, followed by the endorsement by the RSPO Executive Board in February 2013 and put to vote by the RSPO members at this EGA. The proposed revisions of the P&C included new criteria on Greenhouse Gases from new plantings, ethical business practices with regards to counter corruption policies to be implemented by companies, human rights policies and the banning of forced labour.
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Note to Editors:
15% of world's palm oil production is now RSPO certified
The current estimated annual production capacity of RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil is 8.2 million metric tonnes, approximately 15% of global palm oil production. Spread over 2.2 million hectares of certified area, about 48.2% of the world's current RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil production capacity comes from Indonesia, followed by 43.9% from Malaysia, and the remaining 7.9% from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Cambodia, Brazil, Colombia and Ivory Coast.
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In response to the urgent and pressing global call for sustainably-produced palm oil, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders. The seat of the association is in Zurich, Switzerland, while the secretariat is currently based in Kuala Lumpur with a satellite office in Jakarta.
RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from seven sectors of the palm oil industry - oil palm producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation NGOs and social or developmental NGOs - to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.
Such multi-stakeholder representation is mirrored in the governance structure of RSPO such that seats in the Executive Board and project-level Working Groups are fairly allocated to each sector. In this way, RSPO lives out the philosophy of the "roundtable" by giving equal rights to each stakeholder group to bring group-specific agendas to the roundtable, facilitating traditionally adversarial stakeholders and business competitors to work together towards a common objective and make decisions by consensus.
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