The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) announced on Monday, (16/7) it was reinstating Nestlé S.A.’s membership following the submission of its time-bound action plan to achieve 100 percent RSPO certified sustainable palm oil by 2023.

Effective Monday, July 16, 2018, Nestlé’s certificates and membership status will be reinstated, RSPO said in a press release out of Kuala Lumpur.

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On June 27, 2018, the RSPO Board of Governors suspended the membership of Nestlé for failure to submit the required Annual Communication on Progress (ACOP)  report for 2016, and for 2017 submitting the report without a time-bound plan. In the report, members are required to specify steps taken in the previous year, specific steps intended for the coming year and for the long-term in a time-bound plan of working towards producing or buying certified sustainable palm oil. Nestlé also had overdue membership fees.

“The RSPO is more than a certification scheme, it is a commitment scheme. When joining RSPO, all our members make a commitment to transform the palm oil industry. Nestlé has pledged to step up their efforts in working actively on solutions within the RSPO system, via active participation. It’s with this in mind that we are welcoming Nestlé back to the Roundtable, confident they will live up to our membership obligations and succeed in delivering on their time-bound plan,” RSPO CEO Darrel Webber said in the release.

The release said that RSPO and Nestlé shared the vision of transforming the palm oil industry for a sustainable future. They also believe that achieving this requires the entire industry to work towards greater transparency, inclusiveness, direct supply chain engagement and capacity building throughout the supply chain.

“Nestlé supports RSPO’s role in driving industry-wide change and appreciates its decision following the submission of its action plan, which focuses on increasing traceability primarily through segregated RSPO palm oil,” Nestlé’s Global Head of Responsible Sourcing, Benjamin Ware, was quoted in the release as saying.

Ware said that transparency in its supply chain has always been a priority for Nestlé.

“Nestlé has always been committed to implementing responsible sourcing and has made significant progress towards our commitment to using fully responsibly sourced palm oil,” Ware said.

He added that Nestlé would play a leading role within the RSPO by participating in working groups and sharing its experiences in addressing some of the critical environmental and socio-economic challenges affecting the sector.

“In line with the RSPO’s objectives, this work will focus on preventing deforestation, particularly the protection of peatland and high-carbon stock land, as well as respecting human rights across the value chain,” he concluded.

The RSPO, the world’s largest association for ethical palm oil production, was established by environmental groups and industry representatives in 2004 in an attempt to curb the destructive practices by oil palm growers, such as deforestation and land grabbing.

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