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Press Release: 2020 China Sustainable Palm Oil Supply Chain Forum and 4th RSPO China Forum

Suzhou, China - August 19, 2020 - The 2020 China Sustainable Palm Oil Supply Chain Forum and the 4th Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) China Forum kicked off in Suzhou on August 19. The forum was jointly held by RSPO, the China Chamber of Commerce of I/E of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-products (CFNA) and World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF China).

The event launched with a video speech delivered by RSPO CEO-Designate, Ms. Beverley Postma, who shared details about RSPO’s achievements in 2019 and emphasised the importance of the sustainable palm oil supply chain.

“China, a market with enormous potential, is becoming a steadfast leader in global sustainable development. I believe China will contribute to the transformation of the global market for sustainable palm oil,” said Ms. Postma. In addition, she also mentioned recent promising developments in the China market. As of August 12, 2020, the number of Chinese RSPO members (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) had increased by 50% over the same period last year to 222, of which 163 are from mainland China.

CFNA President Cao Derong said, “As a large palm oil importer and consumer, China's trade behavior will affect the development of the global palm oil supply chain. As China’s largest foodstuffs and agricultural products trade organisation, the China Chamber of Commerce of I/E of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-products (CFNA) will consistently promote the use of palm oil in China. The CFNA will maintain a close partnership with RSPO and WWF.”

Mr. Zhou Fei, Chief Programme Officer of WWF China, said, “China plays a critical role in driving the global market transformation of sustainable palm oil. The fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, scheduled to be held in Kunming, will be the best chance to showcase to the world China’s development of a comprehensive ecological civilisation. We call on more stakeholders across the palm oil value chain in the China market to actively join us and together promote the standardisation of sustainable palm oil in the country.”

In 2019, China imported 7.2 million tonnes of palm oil, becoming the third-largest palm oil importer following India and the EU. Palm oil is the second-most consumed vegetable oil in China. While RSPO currently certifies 19% of the total global production, the percentage of certified sustainable palm oil in China needs to be drastically improved. With efforts from government agencies, media, traders, processors, manufacturers, retailers and social organisers, RSPO will help carry forward the continued transformation of the Chinese palm oil market.

Ms. Beverley Postma added, "RSPO formulated sustainable palm oil standards and principles, and launched multiple initiatives worldwide. More Chinese companies became RSPO members last year and made an active contribution to the global market transformation of sustainable palm oil. Furthermore, RSPO also actively teamed up with Chinese partners. We completed the RSPO China Sustainable Palm Oil Strategy Report with SynTao, and launched the ‘Changemakers for Nature’ China Youth Plan together with WildBound.”

At the Forum, participants also exchanged opinions about topics such as the latest China market strategy for sustainable palm oil, the promotion of global sustainable development against the backdrop of the pandemic and sustainable palm oil’s application and use in the food industry from the angle of consumer markets. Organisations, agencies and companies also shared experiences about palm oil’s sustainable production and consumption and explored opportunities for cooperation in both the upstream and downstream industries.

RSPO, the CFNA and WWF jointly established the China Sustainable Palm Oil Alliance (the Alliance) in 2018. At the meeting this year, members of the Alliance reported their accomplishments in the first half and decided the latest roadmap for the Alliance. In the meantime, subjects relating to sustainable palm oil's campaigning, promotion, purchase and application were also discussed. Aiming to build a win-win cooperation platform, the Alliance has the goal of driving sustainable palm oil development in China.

Mr. Cao Derong, CFNA President, Ms. Teng Feifei, RSPO China Representative, Mr. Zhou Fei, Chief Program Officer of WWF China, Mr. Yang Lirong, Director of the Foreign Environmental Cooperation Center at the Ministry of Ecology and Environment and Mr. Christoffer Grønstad, Environment Counselor at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Beijing attended the forum together with influential companies across the palm oil supply chain, stakeholders and other non-profit NGOs.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:  

Name: Teng Feifei

Position: RSPO China Representative

Email: feifei@rspo.org

Name: Wan Jian

Position: RSPO Deputy China representative

Email: wan.jian@rspo.org