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Femexpalma conference and smallholders in Mexico receive grant from RSPO Smallholder Support Fund (RSSF)

Femexpalma hosted its first national conference in Villahermosa, Mexico

On February 8 and 9, the National Palm Oil Growers Association of Mexico (Femexpalma) hosted its first ever conference in Villahermosa, Mexico. The conference was a great success, with over 600 participants from over 10 countries. RSPO led two workshops, one on Remediation and Compensation Procedures (RaCP) alongside Proforest, and another on Supply Chain Certification.

Noteworthy speakers included Dr. James Fry, chairman of LMC International, who spoke about the palm oil market and price predictions, and Mr. Jens Mesa, president of Fedepalma (Colombia’s Palm Oil Growers Association), who spoke about the importance of associations in the palm oil industry. Representing RSPO were Dr. Inke Van der Sluijs, RSPO technical manager for Europe, and Mr. Francisco Naranjo, RSPO director for Latin America, who talked about the impact of RSPO in Latin America and the importance of sustainable palm oil in the European market.

First RSSF grant in Mexico will help over 157 smallholders

As one of the side events for the evening of February 8, RSPO participated in awarding the first ever RSPO Smallholder Support Fund (RSSF) grant in Mexico, shared with over 157 smallholders seeking RSPO Certification. The fund was received by PepsiCo, Oleofinos, Oleopalma, Femexpalma, and Proforest, as well as the association of smallholders, for the promotion of their certification. According to Mr. Moises Torres, president of Palmicultores del Sureste in Palenque, “RSPO is our next step. We are happy and sure this project will be a win-win situation.”

PepsiCo reaffirmed commitment to certified sustainable palm oil

The smallholders were not the only ones celebrating the fund, however. “PepsiCo’s global commitment is to source 100 percent RSPO certified sustainable palm oil by 2020,” said PepsiCo’s Christine Daugherty, vice president of sustainable agriculture. “This is part of our global ‘Performance with Purpose’ sustainability vision, and we are committed to working with all parties in the supply chain to help make this a reality. RSPO’s standard provides the credible global standard for the entire supply chain of sustainable palm oil; working with strategic implementing partners, such as Proforest, we have collaboratively designed and are now implementing a holistic program for sustainable palm oil production in Mexico.”

RSPO congratulates Femexpalma on an excellent first congress, and looks forward to continued work with them.