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KUALA LUMPUR, 11 NOVEMBER 2019 – The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) today announced that Datuk Darrel Webber is stepping down as Chief Executive Officer effective 16 January 2020. During his tenure, the RSPO has grown exponentially from a small multi-stakeholder organisation with a primary focus on Southeast Asia to a global organisation with members across 92 countries. The Board of Governors will begin to search immediately for the next RSPO Chief Executive Officer.
Addressing his global team, Datuk Darrel Webber said, “In my eight years I have seen this organisation grow from five staff to more than 80, and membership from 300 to over 4000. I am exceptionally proud of the work we have achieved by intervening to protect our environment, safeguarding human and labour rights, securing the benefits of smallholders and together tackling climate change. The increase of supporters of RSPO, beyond our membership, especially governments and grassroot supporters has brought new faces into our world, and we now have countries, counties, districts, cities, local businesses, and schools in support of Sustainable Palm Oil. I know my wonderful team will continue on this journey and take sustainable palm oil to bigger, better places.”
With great composure Datuk Webber reflected on this decision, “I leave RSPO with only good experiences, and good memories. I will say this was not an easy decision, and it is something I have ruminated over for some months. I must start a new journey and I am proud to leave RSPO in a financial standing that is the envy of most, and I am confident that this transition will be a smooth one.”
Co-Chairs of the RSPO Board of Governors, Ms Anne Rosenbarger and Dato’ Carl Bek-Nielsen stated, “On behalf of the RSPO Board of Governors, we would like to thank Datuk Darrel Webber for his more than 8 years of service to the RSPO as its Secretary General and then as Chief Executive Officer. This doesn’t even take into account the immeasurable contribution he played as a member of an environmental NGO, prior to joining the organisation. Darrel has played an important role in the on-going transformation of the palm oil sector.”
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. RSPO is a not-for-profit, international, membership organisation that unites stakeholders from the different sectors of the palm oil industry including 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.
This multi-stakeholder representation is mirrored in the governance structure of RSPO such that seats in the Board of Governors, Steering Committees and 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, facilitating traditionally adversarial stakeholders in working together to reach decisions by consensus, and achieving RSPO’s shared vision of making sustainable palm oil the norm. The seat of the association is in Zurich, Switzerland, while the secretariat is currently based in Kuala Lumpur with satellite offices in Jakarta (ID), London (UK), Zoetermeer (NL), Beijing (CN) and Bogotá (CO).
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