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In March 2017, the RSPO Board of Governors (BoG) endorsed the RSPO Smallholder Strategy to improve the inclusivity of the RSPO for independent smallholders. A simplified standard for independent smallholders (RISS) was subsequently developed and endorsed by the BoG in September 2019 and was adopted at the General Assembly at RT17. With the adoption of the 2018 Principles & Criteria (P&C) and the RISS, the RSPO still lacks an inclusive and robust system for the certification of medium-sized growers.
To align with the RSPO Smallholder Strategy’s objective to improve the inclusivity of the RSPO for independent smallholders, the RISS definition for independent smallholders deviates from the definition in the 2018 P&C, thereby allowing smallholders that rely primarily on non-family labour and that earn the majority of their income from activities off the farm to get certified under the RISS. This adaptation to the independent smallholder definition also risks opening up the RISS to other interests such as land speculators, absentee landlords, and medium-sized growers who currently lack an inclusive and robust approach to get certified. As small and medium scale plantations are an increasingly important driver of deforestation in oil palm landscapes, there is an urgent need to develop a robust and credible system for the certification of medium sized growers, while at the same time reviewing the applicability of the RISS to ensure that both systems are tailored to their respective target audiences.
To address this need, a Medium Grower Task Force (MGTF), reporting directly to the Standards Standing Committee (SSC) was established to oversee the classification of palm oil producers and lead the development of a certification system and/or certification standard for medium- sized growers.
Hiew Koh Thien
Eagle High Plantations
Local Farming Cooperation Inc,– Non
Dr Marcus Colchester
Michael Guindon (Co -
Cargill Tropical Palm
Last modified date of master document
ToR Medium Grower Task Force
14 Oct 2020
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14 Oct 2020