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Bali, November 30, 2017: The 15th annual Roundtable Meeting (RT15) and The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s (RSPO) 14th General Assembly (GA14) ended on a positive note with emphasis on inclusivity, accountability, and commitment to transforming the market together.
The global gathering provided an avenue to hear and account from voices across the palm oil supply chain, to ensure that best practices and standards are attainable, and beneficial to all. The second day of RT15 saw interesting presentations and intense discussions on RSPO's commitment to market players and smallholders.
Some of the key announcements at this year’s conference included the launch of the impacts report which detailed achievements and noteworthy trends in established and emerging markets like Africa. Sustainability in Africa was discussed and distinguished by examples coming from Gabon and Liberia. The new RSPO Smallholder Strategy was also discussed, which is aimed at empowering smallholders to achieve more sustainable livelihoods.
RSPO recognised DAABON Group and United Plantations for achieving RSPO NEXT certifications, with DAABON Group being the first in the world to achieve RSPO NEXT earlier this year; and United Plantations being the first Malaysian grower and first in the region. Independent smallholders from Indonesia and Thailand were also awarded certificates in recognition of achieving RSPO certification.
Datuk Darrel Webber, CEO of the RSPO said: “We must realise that to have real and long lasting change, we need to include everyone and start by helping them to become above average. We need to allow for change, transformation, and conversion and cannot expect that those who are at the start of their sustainability journey should become superstars overnight.”
RSPO’s GA14 had also been successfully conducted, with several resolutions getting approved, including:
Despite the recent activity of Mt Agung, 477 representatives from the global palm oil industry, including corporate leaders in sustainability, financial institutions, policymakers, academics, and social and environmental NGOs from 40 countries participated in the event. RSPO also took the opportunity to extend its heartfelt wishes and thoughts, and called for support for the Balinese communities who were affected by the volcanic activity.