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OVER 800 DELEGATES FROM 36 COUNTRIES GATHER AT WORLD’S LARGEST SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL MEETING IN SINGAPORE

Sustainable business model for the future of palm oil and convergence from demand side of supply chain among key issues to be addressed at the 10th Annual Roundtable Meeting on Sustainable Palm Oil

SINGAPORE, 31 OCTOBER 2012 – The 10th Annual Roundtable Meeting on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT10), the world’s largest sustainable palm oil meeting, opened today 

in Singapore. Over 800 delegates from 36 countries around the world have registered toattend RT10, presented by international multi-stakeholder organisation the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The theme for this year’s Roundtable Meeting is “10 Years of Driving Sustainability. A Business Model for the Future”.

Over 100 distinguished speakers from stakeholders across the palm oil sector will be sharing their perspectives and insights at RT10 over the next two days. Speakers include representatives from 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.

Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Singapore was the Guest of Honour at the event, held at Resorts World Sentosa. Following his opening address, DPM Tharman presented certificates to four smallholders from Thailand who recently attained RSPO certification, becoming the world’s first independent smallholders to achieve this.

“Although there are no palm oil plantations in Singapore, Singapore has a stake in RSPO,” said Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore, in his keynote address. “Singapore will benefit if all palm oil plantations in Indonesia belong to the RSPO.” Professor Koh also noted that while RSPO’s membership was drawn from seven sectors, including banks and investors, none of Singapore’s banks was a member of RSPO. “I would respectfully request them them to consider doing so”, he said.

Dr Jan Kees Vis, President of the RSPO and Global Director Sustainable Sourcing Development, Unilever, said: “A great transformation to global sustainability is necessary, possible and desirable. This will prevent us reaching tipping point from which damaged natural systems will never recover… But there is little time. We only have decades to turn things around, not centuries. That makes it our responsibility, today, now.”

“This tenth year is a highly significant milestone for RSPO. The strong international participation from palm oil stakeholders at RT10 is testimony to the increasing recognition worldwide that sustainable palm oil production and business practices are no longer an option but a must for the long-term good of the industry,” said Mr Darrel Webber, Secretary General of the RSPO. “We have come a long way in the last ten years, but there is still much room for growth. This is a very exciting time for the palm oil sector as it advances ever closer to making sustainable palm oil the norm. I am optimistic that we will see many fruitful discussions and dynamic exchanges of ideas at RT10.”

Discussions at RT10 began yesterday with a full day of preparatory clusters addressing pressing topics relevant to the palm oil sector such as High Conservation Value forests and biodiversity management, certification of smallholders and greenhouse gas emissions. The Principles & Criteria (P&C) review and outcomes preparatory cluster provided a valuable opportunity to solicit feedback on the revised P&C draft, contributing to the second stage of public and stakeholder consultations on the draft P&C.

The RT10 Plenary Sessions over the next two days will reflect the concerns and priorities of stakeholders as the RSPO continues to strive towards market transformation. Key themes include “RSPO: A Decade of Success and its Significance Ahead”, “Meeting Commitments and Continuous Performance Along the Supply Chain” and “Smallholder Achievements and Sustainability”. RT10 will also examine investment challenges in new frontiers such as Latin America and Africa, and will feature a plenary session with high-level representatives from sustainability and environmental roundtables and associations worldwide to discuss the efficacy of the multi-stakeholder approach.

For more information about RT10, please log on to www.rt10.rspo.org

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14% of world's palm oil production is now RSPO certified

The current estimated annual production capacity of RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil is 7.2 million metric tonnes, approximately 14 percent of global palm oil production. Spread over 1.6 million hectares of certified area, about 45.5% of the world's current RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil production capacity comes from Indonesia, followed by 44.7% from Malaysia, and the remaining 9.8% from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Brazil, Colombia and Ivory Coast.

For more data on:

About RT10

Positioned as the world’s largest sustainable palm oil conference and held since 2003, the annual roundtable or RT is a platform to exchange views and experiences among various stakeholders in developed and developing countries to strengthen their co-operation and support in promoting sustainable palm oil. The annual roundtable is a leading industry event which sees the participation of players from the palm oil sector from all around the world. In 2011, the event attracted over 1,000 delegates from 34 countries representing various stakeholder groups in the palm oil supply chain.

This year, RT10 will be held from October 30 – November 1 2012 in Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore. RT10 will be organized over three days comprising presentation papers, workshops, breakout sessions and dialogue. More information about the RT10 is available at http://rt10.rspo.org.

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.

For further information, kindly contact:

Contact for RSPO Secretariat:

Anne Gabriel, Communications Director | T: 603 - 2201 2053 | AnneGabriel@rspo.org

Contact for Singapore:

Lin Kuek, Hill+Knowlton Strategies | T: +65 6390 3363 | lin.kuek@hkstrategies.com |

Contact for Europe:

Giovanni Colombo, Hill+Knowlton Strategies | T: +32 (0)2 231 50 19 | Communications@rspo.eu

Contact for Indonesia:

Desi Kusumadewi, RSPO Indonesia Director| T: +62 21 5794 0222 | desi@rspo.org

Contact for India:

Arneeta Vasudeva | IPAN Hill+Knowlton | T: +91-124-496 7316 | avasudeva@ipanhillandknowlton.com

Contact for China:

Peter Headden , Hill & Knowlton | T: (86 10) 5861 7597 | peter.headden@hillandknowlton.com