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National Commitments refer to country-level initiatives, spearheaded by industry, government, or both, to forge alliances towards Certified Sustainable Palm Oil commitments. These undertakings show the importance of collaboration in realizing a vision that promotes environmental protection, wildlife conservation and human rights and social issues.
These National Commitments have been established independently of the RSPO by industry players, including government bodies in some cases. The RSPO seeks to play an instrumental role in the growth and success of these National Commitments, by:
The Belgian Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil (BASP) was originally launched in 2012 to address issues of sustainability and was more recently expanded to include nutrition and health in the Belgian palm oil market.
Following some early successes, BASP was relaunched last year as an official association, in a move that got significant press attention. Whilst its main focus stays on affecting a transformation towards sustainable palm oil, its new secondary focus is on ‘re-balancing the debate’ by talking to journalists and other stakeholders to engage all parties in the debate rather than just promoting the use of sustainable palm oil.
The Initiative for Sustainable Palm Oil is a movement of companies and NGOs in the Czech Republic and Slovakia committed to either produce, use or support sustainable palm oil. It was established as an informal movement demystifying palm oil.
Companies that exclusively use certified sustainable palm oil as well as other organisations that promote its use can use the logo on their website to demonstrate their commiment. By increasing the number of users and supporters, the Czech Republic and Slovakia could sign the Amsterdam Declaration to affirm its long-term vision.
In 2020, the Initiative for Sustainable Palm Oil published a brochure about sustainable palm oil in cooperation with the Czech Consumer Association. The brochure has been distributed among palm oil users and is used as reference material in lectures and other communication activties with professionals, journalists, general public, etc.
For a number of years, parts of the Danish business community have worked to promote responsibly produced palm oil. In 2014, the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) established the "Business Initiative for Sustainable Palm Oil", which brought together a number of Danish food producers, and in 2014, the Danish Chamber of Commerce established an initiative for responsibly produced palm oil, which brought together Danish retailers.
In 2020, the Danish Initiative for Ethical Trade (DIEH) took the initiative for a joint Danish effort with a number of companies including: DI, the Danish Chamber of Commerce, the Danish Agriculture & Food Council, the trade association for Danish grocers, the Danish Association of Cosmetics and Detergents, the Industry Association for the Danish Laundry, Cosmetics and Household Industry (VKH), WWF Denmark, 3F - United Federation of Workers in Denmark, NEPCon Preferred By Nature and the Ministry of the Environment and Food. Through a binding collaboration, the Alliance ensures the use of responsibly produced palm oil in Denmark and contributes to progress towards responsible production globally.
The Alliance's vision is that all palm oil imported to Denmark – both in raw form and embedded in products — is produced responsibly, including legally produced and not contributing to deforestation or conversion of other natural vegetation. Through a joint Danish effort, the Alliance envisions to contribute to continuous improvements in the responsible production of palm oil globally.
The members of the Alliance are committed to achieving the Alliance’s vision and disseminating information about it. In order to achieve its vision, the Alliance's business participants also commit to:
The Alliance for the Preservation of Forests is a European coalition of companies recognising the importance of securing supplies that are respectful of forests, biodiversity and local populations within industries.
It was the Alliance’s expertise in the sustainable palm oil sector that convinced its members of the need to expand their operations to all sectors and to address deforestation at a landscape level in order to have a real impact.
The Alliance for the Preservation of Forests aims at Zero Deforestation by 2025 through the adoption of cross commodities and landscape approaches.
To be able to implement the conditions necessary for the restoration of forest ecosystems in each of the key supply basins, the Alliance for the Preservation of Forests assumes four major roles:
The Alliance has managed to position itself as the representative of companies committed to the fight against deforestation, recognised by all the stakeholders involved (NGOs, media, key opinion leaders, scientists, governments, etc.). The Alliance raises its voice among French and European political leaders supporting legislation to fight deforestation.
The Forum for Sustainable Palm Oil (FONAP) is a multi-stakeholder initiative of around 50 companies, associations, non-governmental organisations, the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH (GIZ) coordinates the secretariat on behalf of the BMEL.
For the past five years, FONAP has actively engaged in activities within producer countries that promote sustainable palm oil production. Hereby, the aim is to increase the amount of sustainably produced and consumed palm oil in the food, feed and chemical sectors, while improving existing schemes and ensuring the implementation of human rights standards along the global supply chain. Companies engage with this multi-stakeholder partnership in order to tackle complex challenges, such as those surrounding certification systems or the adherence to human rights obligations, together instead of on an individual company-based level. There are multiple opportunities for FONAP members to get involved with these activities, for example through knowledge exchanges with experts during events, participation in diverse working groups, or through supporting sustainable cultivation as part of the FONAP smallholder project in Malaysia.
The members of FONAP agree to:
Source 100% of their crude refined and unrefined palm oil (without fractions and derivatives) using at least the Segregated (SG) supply chain option;
Source 100% of their crude, refined and unrefined palm kernel oil (without fractions and derivatives):
With regard to fractions and derivatives (irrespective of whether these are based on palm oil or palm kernel oil):
FONAP commissioned the study "Analysis of the palm oil market in Germany in 2019" which shows that 83% of palm oil used in Germany is certified sustainable and that increasing sustainability certification for palm oil in diverse market sectors is ongoing. Members of FONAP are frontrunners in market transformation because they are already fully implementing the 100% goal in diverse industries.
The FONAP Smallholder Project in Malaysia culminating in March 2021 helped the smallholders involved develop a better understanding of the importance of biodiversity on and in their soils. The smallholders have seen that organic production without the use of pesticides is possible and can even lead to higher yields. Initial evidence has also been gathered that diversification of farming can have a positive impact on soil fertility and income.
The PalmoilTrace – FarmGate app developed by the company Koltiva is used to record the transactions of certified smallholder producers and palm oil distributors and allows certified palm oil to be traced seamlessly. Find out more about the project here.
The Sustainable Palm Oil Coalition for India (I-SPOC) was formed to promote the uptake of sustainable palm oil and it's derivatives in India. Launched in September 2018, this Coalition was conceived and founded by four organisations - RSPO, WWF, Centre for Responsible Business and the Rainforest Alliance. Being the largest importer of palm oil in the world, India is an important market driver and influencer. I-SPOC’s objective is to improve the sustainability performance of companies operating across the Indian palm oil supply chain by:
I-SPOC is working with businesses and other ecosystem players to promote sustainable palm oil production and consumption through collective action on awareness generation, value chain capacity building, good practices and knowledge exchange, and policy recommendations and action. Members of the Coalition work across three working groups: Government Policy, Importers and Supply Chain Actors and End Users (FMCGs, Retailers and end consumers).
I-SPOC has grown from 4 to 26 members within a couple of years. Several non-RSPO member organisations and large palm oil users have joined the coalition and started their journey of transitioning to sustainable palm oil.
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The Italian Union for Sustainable Palm Oil was established in October 2015 by a group of Companies and Associations operating in the food industry that use palm oil, with the aim of acting as a useful interface for actively promoting a culture of sustainability for this product.
The following companies and associations currently form the Union: Ferrero, ISF Italy, Nestlé, Unigrà, Assitol (the Italian Oil Industry Association) and Unione Italiana Food, born from the merger of two of the most representative associations of the Italian food industry, AIDEPI (Association of the Italian Sweet and Pasta Industries) and AIIPA (Italian Association of Food Products Industries).
The Union promotes the use of sustainable palm oil by Italian companies producing consumer goods and runs communication activities to promote sustainable palm oil awareness and uptake. Transparency and scientific objectivity are the principles upon which its activities are based. The Union organises events, conferences, education and information campaigns; it promotes and supports research and scientific studies, and takes all action aimed at raising awareness of sustainable palm oil production and distribution among institutions, the media and the heads of economic and social bodies in various capacities.
Union members made two major commitments: to use 100% RSPO-certified palm oil in their products by the end of 2016; and use 100% sustainable palm oil, according to stricter criteria, by 2020. Stricter criteria include traceability, no peat, no deforestation and no exploitation.
In 2019, 92% of palm oil used in the food sector in Italy was RSPO certified sustainable; of this 98% was RSPO Segregated (SG) and 2% was RSPO Mass Balance (MB).
The remaining 8% originated from supply chains that satisfied the No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation (NDPE) criteria. The figures confirm the progressive achievement of the goal set by the Union signing the ‘Commitment to Support 100% Sustainable Palm Oil in Europe by 2020’ in December 2020.
The three-year period from 2017 to 2019 saw the amount of RSPO-certified palm oil used in the food industry as a percentage of all palm oil used more than double, from 43% to 92%.
There has also been an increase in the number of Italian companies involved and in the number of licences using the RSPO trademark: from 27 in 2016 to 53 in 2019. RSPO membership has grown constantly and steadily: from 80 RSPO members in 2014 to 226 members as of September 2020.
The Dutch Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil (DASPO) is a collaboration of stakeholders in the palm oil supply chain established in the Netherlands. These parties work together to stimulate the production and use of sustainably produced palm oil.
DASPO was founded in 2016 as a successor to the 'Sustainable Palm Oil Task Force'. As of 2016, the members of DASPO are committed to promoting more 'Mass Balance' and 'Segregated' certified sustainable palm oil and to the continuous improvement of certification standards for sustainable palm oil. DASPO reports every year on the progress of the use of sustainable palm oil in the Netherlands. The monitoring covers palm oil volumes processed in the Netherlands for both the internal and export markets.
The secretariat is run by MVO - the chain organisation for oils and fats.
DASPO stimulates the production and use of sustainable palm oil and is committed to a sustainable palm oil supply chain. To achieve this goal, the members of DASPO commit to:
100% sustainable palm oil for the Dutch market. That was the ambition of eight different sectors in the Dutch palm oil supply chain in 2010. Since then, these various sectors have taken significant steps towards more sustainable palm oil. This is reflected in the figures: the use of sustainable palm oil in the food industry has increased from 21% in 2011 to 87% in 2019. In the feed industry, the use of certified sustainable palm oil has increased from 7% in 2013 to 65% in 2019. All DASPO members now use 100% RSPO certified sustainable palm oil.
Members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) formed the North American Sustainable Palm Oil Network (NASPON) in December 2017 to bring together associations, civil society organisations, consumer goods manufacturers, foodservice retailers, retailers, and palm oil traders and producers committed to increasing the use of certified sustainable palm oil and certified sustainable palm kernel oil (CSPO) in North America, with the goal of continuing progress toward 100% CSPO both in this market and across the globe.
As an independent network, NASPON members work collaboratively to find industry-wide solutions to secure certified sustainable palm oil in their products and to ensure respect for human and labour rights, local communities and biodiversity throughout the palm oil supply chain.
NASPON’s mission is to be a platform to collaborate, educate, inform and build momentum to help North American companies to make and deliver on commitments to source sustainable palm oil. Membership is restricted to RSPO members and organisations deemed by the Network to be working towards100% CSPO in North America.
Further, by joining NASPON, organisations work towards the achievement of the following:
In 2019, NASPON established three working groups to address key areas of need: Education and Outreach, Segregated Supply and Uptake, and Derivatives. Tools and resources have been created by all of these groups to assist supply chain actors in overcoming barriers to becoming 100% RSPO certified. These resources and more information about the working groups can be found at www.NASPONgroup.org.
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The Palm Oil Network Switzerland is the centre of excellence and discussion forum for the stakeholders involved in the supply chain. Its members pool their resources to promote the sustainable development of palm oil production. By speaking with a single voice and implementing joint projects, the Network intends to bring about improvements in the production of palm oil. The founding members of the Network are Barry Callebaut, Coop, Florin, Hug, Migros, M-Industry, Nestlé Switzerland, Nutriswiss, Ospelt and Pro Fair Trade.
Through the Palm Oil Network, key players in the food supply chain have joined forces to speak with a single voice and implement joint projects aimed at improvement. The Palm Oil Network aims to continue developing the RSPO standard and improve the implementation of RSPO directives in the supply chain. Through the importers Florin and Nutriswiss the members already import 100% of their palm oil from RSPO certified and segregated sources.
The members of the Palm Oil Network have also set the following goals:
The Polish Coalition for Sustainable Palm Oil (PCSPO) is an independent coalition of representatives of key industry companies, industry and non-governmental organisations, and certification bodies.
On 17 June 2019, a group of non-profit and non-governmental organisations, as well as multinational food and beverage companies, pledged to increase the uptake of sustainable palm oil in Poland. The twelve founding members of the PCSPO signed a declaration on the use of 100% sustainable palm oil used in the country by 2023. Since2021, the Coalition has grown and united 16 members, representing different backgrounds and sectors.
The PCSPO wants to take the lead in halting deforestation and further environmental degradation. To achieve its long-term objective, the coalition works together and takes into consideration views from various stakeholder groups, including certification bodies, non-governmental organisations, crop scientists, palm-oil based organisations and the government.
The strategic goal of the PCSPO is to achieve a 100% sustainable palm oil level in Poland by 2023 at the latest.
An important mission of the PCSPO is also to take actions to increase knowledge and awareness about sustainable palm oil among consumers and entities operating in the Polish market.
According to a 2020 study, around 55% of palm oil used in the Polish market is certified. Numbers vary from sector to sector, led by the food industry, where 78% of used palm oil has an RSPO certificate.
In order to achieve its goal, the Coalition has laid the groundwork by developing a common road map, creating educational tools for companies, like case studies, practical workshops and Q&A regarding the most common misconceptions about palm oil, its impact on human health, and certified palm oil.
In 2021, the focus of the Coalition shifted towards consumers and employees, raising awareness of sustainable palm oil in the Polish market through informational campaigns and educational materials.
The Spanish Foundation for Sustainable Palm Oil was set up at the end of 2016 and established formally in June 2017. It consists of a group of twelve companies and aims to grow its membership base by actively engaging with other companies and supply chain partners in the food and feed industries and in retail. The Spanish Foundation defines sustainability of this key ingredient in the industry from three points of view:
The Foundation’s aim is to promote the uptake of sustainable palm oil and balance the palm oil debate on health and sustainability issues in Spain. Led by the Foundation, the target of 100% sustainable oil is supported by all its members using palm oil in their products.
The Spanish Foundation for Sustainable Palm Oil was born in 2017 to unite the interests of companies committed to the use of sustainable palm oil with a clear objective: to create synergies so that Spain would only import 100% certified sustainable palm oil.
Over the years, the Foundation has developed different activities to get the national industry and trade to openly commit to certified sustainable palm oil, and has managed to grow from just over 20% in 2017 to 57% in 2021.
The Foundation also collaborates with universities, organisations and specialists in various fields such as nutrition, toxicology and environment. These voices serve as a support to elaborate and issue factual and rigorous information from the scientific point of view.
The UK Sustainable Palm Oil Initiative (SPOI) performs a wide range of activities to engage and support the private sector in sourcing sustainable palm oil, through training, raising awareness and information sharing to help stakeholders learn about sourcing SPO. Additionally, a series of working groups are facilitated, one of which is focused on communications, predominantly on improving the messaging and narrative surrounding sustainable palm oil in order to create educational resources and drive awareness across the UK supply chain, from refiners to end consumers of sustainable palm oil.
A core part of SPOI is the UK Roundtable on Sourcing Sustainable Palm Oil (UK Roundtable), an industry alliance that aims to promote the uptake of sustainable palm oil in the UK across the supply chain, which offers a space for information sharing between members and support on progress, monitoring and reporting. An important role of SPOI is to act as a platform for engaging with other national initiatives, both consumer and producer countries, and their members.
The Roundtable was originally formed when the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published the UK statement on sustainable palm oil in 2012, which brought together trade associations for palm oil-using sectors, the UK government, the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Wildlife Fund to agree to work towards 100% sourcing of credibly certified sustainable palm oil by 2015. Following this, the Roundtable members agreed to align with the 2020 Amsterdam Declaration Commitment, working towards achieving 100% sustainable sourcing and increased traceability of palm oil by 2020 in Europe as well as other deforestation-free agricultural commodities, such as soya and cocoa.
Membership has now expanded to a wider range of organisations including the public sector, retailers, wholesalers, finance, the foodservice sector, manufacturers and refiners.
UK SPOI will continue to work with all sectors to drive forward the development of an increasingly sustainable and resilient supply of palm oil to the UK. Whilst the goal of 100% CSPO remains a relevant target against which progress can easily be tracked using CSPO import data, the UK SPOI has built a platform upon which a far broader goal can be launched – one that encompasses the capacity of the UK industry to instigate positive change on a global level.
The UK Sustainable Palm Oil Initiative has produced an annual progress report each year since 2012. These reports can be found here:
SASPO was founded in 2016 by seven founding members; ASEAN CSR Network, Ayam Brand, Danone, IKEA, Unilever, Wildlife Reserves Singapore and WWF-Singapore. The alliance was officially incorporated in 2017 and is the first business initiative in ASEAN focusing on sustainable palm oil. Through capacity building, workshops and educational resources, SASPO lowers the barriers for businesses to adopt sustainable sourcing policies.
In 2017, SASPO experienced a 200% spike in new members. Our members represent a great mix of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), local and regional chains, and multinational corporations (MNCs), accounting for more than 80 brands and 200 food and beverage properties. Bringing to consumers their everlasting favourites while adopting more and more sustainable palm oil into their palm oil supply chain, our member companies are now leading in their respective industries in the realms of sustainable sourcing.
By the end of 2017, SASPO had welcomed 10 new companies, bringing the total member count to 15. The event’s objectives were to celebrate and demonstrate the successes of its new and founding members. Over 50 people were in attendance, including the event’s guest of honour, Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for Environment and Water Resources, SASPO members, representatives of trade associations and members of the press. The event received extensive coverage in over 40 local and international media channels.
On 11 July 2018, the China Sustainable Palm Oil Alliance (CSPOA) was jointly launched by RSPO, China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce (CFNA), and WWF to create a platform for win-win cooperation among the stakeholders in the palm oil supply chain and promote sustainable palm oil in China. Its vision: to make sustainable palm oil a norm in China's market.
Activities under the Alliance comprise 5 components:
Dialogue Sessions: Sharing experiences and best practices
Communication: Celebrating and showcasing successes and momentum, engaging the public
Working Groups: Addressing challenges and developing common solutions
Capacity Building: "Hopping" on the sustainability journey and reaching milestones
Policy Advocacy: Counter interpret industry cases and policy signals, develop policy proposals.
Currently, there are 15 cooperates/organisations that are members of CSPOA, including CFNA, WWF, RSPO, AarhusKarlshamn (AAK), Cargill China, HSBC, L’Oréal China, Mars and MingFai Group, Musim Mas, Barry Callebaut, CDP, TFA, BV and LDC. Currently, CSPOA is developing its roadmap and a CSPOA Impact Report.
Please email either of the following representatives for more information: