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November 19, 2012, International – The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the international multi-stakeholder organization for sustainable palm oil, has signed a Service and License Agreement with Accreditation Services International (ASI) to manage and implement the Accreditation Programme.


There are currently 19 CBs (Certification Bodies) approved by the RSPO comprising 12 CBs for P&C (Principles & Criteria) Certification for growers and 14 for Supply Chain Certification; several CBs are approved for both certification programs. Existing RSPO approved CBs for both growers’ certification and supply chain certification will be given one year to complete the accreditation process while new CBs have to comply with the accreditation requirements immediately.


According to Darrel Webber, Secretary General of RSPO, “ASI is an established accreditation body with a track record of its services for other international multi stakeholder initiatives such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). They have demonstrable expertise in monitoring the performance of CBs globally through a well-developed accreditation process. The appointment of ASI is aimed at further advancing the robustness and integrity of RSPO’s certification process.”

The appointment of ASI begun in phases; with Phase 1 in 2010 focusing on desk audits with a selection of CBs; Phase 2 in 2011 & 2012 comprised of desk and office audits for all CBs including an implementation of witness audits with a select few; now leading into the final Phase 3 in January 2013 with full accreditation by ASI through  desk audits, office audits and witness audits for all the CBs.


According to Guntars Lagūns, Managing Director of ASI, “It is great to see that our international third party assurance model is recognized by other successful global environmental and social initiatives such as the RSPO. I am delighted to see this professional affiliation with the RSPO in the last three years result in a full service accreditation agreement. Responsible management of both the plantations and the downstream supply chain is at the forefront of environmental and social stakeholder interest. ASI is looking forward to contributing to RSPO’s long term success by providing efficient and rigorous oversight of the implementation of RSPO requirements”.

To date, after 5 years of implementation, a total of 181 P&C Certificates have been issued by RSPO approved CBs in over 7 countries, covering a certified area of more than 1.6 million hectares of oil palm plantations. For the Supply Chain Certification, a total of 547 facilities have been certified, allowing them to trade in certified palm oil products.

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Note to editors (background reference - not for publishing):


More information on RSPO can be accessed as indicated below:

·         2011-2012 ACOP Digest http://www.rspo.org/file/rspo_acop_digest_2012.pdf

·         2011 Growth Interpretation Narrative on RSPO CSPO:  http://www.rspo.org/files/pdf/2011%20RSPO%20CSPO%20GIN_web.pdf

·         Market Performance statistics: http://www.rspo.org/en/key_statistics

·         Trademark statistics: http://www.rspo.org/en/trademark_key_statistics

·         Membership statistics: http://www.rspo.org/en/membership_key_statistics

·         Quick facts: http://www.rspo.org/file/QUICKFACTS-Sept2012(E)(1).pdf

·         A news room with all past announcements and developments: http://www.rspo.org/en/news_releases

·         Frequently Asked Questions & Answers: http://www.rspo.org/en/frequently_asked_questions

·         General press kit materials: http://www.rspo.org/en/press_kit_materials


About RSPO


minor-latin;mso-ansi-language:EN-US">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.




minor-latin;mso-ansi-language:EN-US">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.

For more information, please contact:




Contact for RSPO Secretariat:

Anne Gabriel

Communications Director



Contact for Europe:

Giovanni Colombo

Hill+Knowlton Strategies

T: +32 473 844 903

or +32 (0)2 231 50 19





Contact for Indonesia:

Desi Kusumadewi

RSPO Indonesia Director

T: +62 21 5794 0222



Contact for India:

Arneeta Vasudeva

Hill+Knowlton Strategies

T: +91-124-4967316




Contact for China:

Peter Headden

Hill+Knowlton Strategies

T: (86 10) 5861 7597