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Dutch Task Force Blazes The Trail For Sustainable Palm Oil

21% of total palm oil used in the Netherlands is RSPO-certified

The Hague, March 27th 2012 – The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) applauded the work of the Dutch Task Force on Sustainable Palm Oil today for their promising commitment towards sustainable palm oil, blazing the trail for other countries to emulate. The Task Force – an initiative of the Dutch Product Board MVO (for Margarines, Fats and Oils) – presented its 2011 Annual Report to Henk Bleker,Dutch Minister of Agriculture and Foreign Trade during a gathering at the Dutch press centre ‘Nieuwspoort’ in The Hague.

The report shows that 21% of all palm oil currently used in food products in the Netherlands is RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO). In addition, the report also highlights a significant increase in the number of Dutch organizations that have joined RSPO during the past year, reinforcing the Dutch palm oil industry’s commitment to full sustainability by 2015.

Thomas Ursem, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Rabobank International and Alternate Executive Board Member of RSPO, spoke at the gathering:  “The Dutch Task Force has played an instrumental role in the pursuit of RSPO’s vision to transform the palm oil market to make it fully sustainable for man and nature by encouraging the growth and use of certified palm oil. The Task Force is the result of an inclusive process representing various organizations and the industry harmonizing their actions towards fully embracing CSPO by 2015. This vision is shared and supported by Rabobank as well. The Task Force’s report highlights enormous progress and shows that it is possible to fully transform the market within a few years.”

Darrel Webber, Secretary General of the RSPO, adds: “RSPO is grateful to the Product Board MVO and the Task Force on Sustainable Palm Oil for their initiative, strong commitment and the great progress made thus far. The Task Force has also inspired other countries such as Belgium through the recent establishment of the Belgian Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil to develop similar initiatives dedicated to achieving sustainability in the palm oil industry.”

In addition to the increase in sustainable palm oil and palm kernel oil used in the Dutch food industry to 21%, the report also shows that:

  • In 2011, 19 Dutch organizations joined RSPO,10 companies joined GreenPalm and 16 companies became Supply Chain-certified. In addition, a large number of companies committed to 100% sustainable palm oil use by 2015.
  • The leading sectors in the use of sustainable palm oil are those which use palm oil the most. For organizations in the dairy/milk replacements category, 39% of the total volume of palm oil they used was sustainable, while sustainable palm oil used by the margarine industry represented 35% of the total palm oil used.
  • There was also progress in sectors with relatively little palm oil use and smaller companies. For the bakery and confectionery industry, 17% of palm oil used was sustainable, while the snack industry used 13% sustainable palm oil.

Earlier this month, RSPO announced ​​the 2011 figures for the global supply and sale of certified sustainable palm oil. In 2011, supply of CSPO increased by 73% compared to the previous year (4.798.512 tons against 2.773.567 tons in 2010), while sales increased by 94%. The rapid increase in supply can be attributed to the growing number of certified growers that are included in the RSPO certification process. “While uptake of CSPO has experienced year on year growth from 46% in 2010 to 52% in 2011, one of RSPO’s strategic priorities is to continue to accelerate the uptake of CSPO – in other words, to ensure that the rapidly growing supply of certified sustainable palm oil continues to be procured by the market,” Darrel Webber concludes.

The latest 2011 RSPO CSPO Growth Interpretation Narrative is available on http://www.rspo.org/files/pdf/2011%20RSPO%20CSPO%20GIN_web.pdf. A summary of quick facts are also available on http://www.rspo.org/files/pdf/QUICKFACTS-MAR12.pdf.

About RSPO

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 making decisions by consensus.

About the Task Force on Sustainable Palm Oil

The Task Force consists of all of the Netherlands-based elements of the palm oil chain: the General Cookware and Snack Manufacturers Association (AKSV); the Association of Dutch Margarine Manufacturers (BNMF); the Central Office of Food Trade (CBL); the Dutch Food Industry Federation (FNLI); the Dutch Association of the Animal Feed Industry (Nevedi); the Association of the Potato Processing Industry (VAVI); the Association of the Bakery and Confectionery Industry (VBZ); the Association of Dutch Manufacturers of Edible Oils and Fats (VERNOF); and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH). The IDH offers its expertise and resources to support the Task Force and help it to accomplish its goal along with the business sector and NGOs, while Product Board MVO is chair of the Task Force and serves as its secretariat.

For more information about RSPO or the Task Force on Sustainable Palm Oil, please contact:

Ariane van Niel

Hill+Knowlton Strategies

T: +32 (0)2 231 50 19

Communications@rspo.eu

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