The Indonesian Association of Palm Oil Producers (GAPKI) said that it was aiming for all its members to be certified under the Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) scheme by 2020, the organization said in a report published on its official website.
“At present, there is already 67 percent or 502 companies members of GAPKI which have obtained ISPO certification. The target is that by end of 2020, all GAPKI members must all be ISPO certified,“ GAPKI Chairman Joko Supriyono said as quoted in the report published on Wednesday (28/8).
Addressing the handing of ISPO certificates to a number of companies in Jakarta on Wednesday (27/8), Joko said that ISPO is now mandatory for all Indonesian palm oil producers. The certification, he said, was becoming increasingly important as part of efforts to respond to criticism against palm oil and its industry.
Critics, mostly from non-palm oil producing countries, have blamed palm oil for the mass deforestation that has taken place in producing countries in the past decades.
“If they are already ISPO certified, that will mean those palm oil plantations are already clear and clean,” Joko said as quoted in the report.
Aziz Hidayat, who heads the ISPO Secretariat, said at the same occasion that there were so far 556 companies, six cooperatives of independent smallholders and four plasma scheme cooperatives, which had received ISPO certification and represented 5.2 million hectares of plantations.
Aziz admitted that the challenges in meeting the target of certifications were enormous. Among them where the issues of land legality which was a key factor among smallholders, especially independent ones, the matter of access to financing, as well as their reluctance to organize themselves.
Officials have put the country’s palm oil plantation at around 14 million hectares. Some 40 percent of the country’s oil palm plantation is managed by independent smallholders and their numbers are expected to continue to rise.