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RSPO expands to support growing market for sustainable palm oil

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) will expand its Secretariat to keep up with increasing membership and supply and demand for sustainable palm oil. 

“RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil has gained a strong foothold in a global commodity market,” said Jan Kees Vis, President of the RSPO's Executive Board. “We are confident that this growth will further extend into important palm oil markets such as China and India. The Roundtable will enable its staff to adequately service growing numbers of members, suppliers, buyers, and consumers.”

Following a recent review by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the RSPO Executive Board has agreed plans to restructure and expand its administrative support at the Kuala Lumpur-based Secretariat.

Among other things, RSPO's three Standing Committees (Certification & Standards, Trade & Traceability, Communications & Claims) will get more operational flexibility and will receive support from dedicated Secretariat staff. Several departments, such as the certification and communications department, will grow to better enable the RSPO to build on its standards and certification foundation to develop new markets for RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil.

Leading the transformation as interim SG will be Ms. Rikke Netterstrom, who is based in Malaysia as an executive director at CSR Asia. Ms. Netterstrom managed environmental and social issues for the Body Shop International and for Novozymes, and served in the RSPO's Executive Board from 2004 to 2007.

Later this year, the Roundtable will select a new Secretary General to succeed Dr Vengeta Rao, who recently decided to pursue new goals after having successfully led the RSPO's Secretariat for three years. “The Roundtable extends its gratitude to Dr Rao for his devotion to the work of the RSPO and for creating a Secretariat that today serves as a solid foundation for a crucial new building phase,” RSPO's President Jan Kees Vis said.