The Palm Scribe

RSPO to hold members accountable to their sustainability commitments

RSPO’s CEO Datuk Darrel Webber Welcome Address on RT17

BANGKOK – The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm oil (RSPO) will now measure its members’ efforts to convert their commitment to sustainability into action, its CEO Darren Webber said on Tuesday (5/11).

“On 31 October 2019, the Board of Governors has endorsed shared responsibility requirements and implementation document,” Webber told the opening of the 17th Annual Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Palm Oil here.

The document, he said, contained details as to how RSPO members in their supply chains can convert their commitments to promote sustainable palm oil into action. The move was in line with the theme of this year’s conference: “Shared Responsibilities; Convert Commitments into Action.”

“This is by far, the most tangible tool we have to measure our members’ progress objectively, to measure how they convert their commitment into action,” Webber added.

Webber said that the first year would be a test run and no sanction awaited those who failed to meet their target. He said that after one year, a review would be conducted to see whether members could meet the targets, whether they were fair and also feasible.

Carl Bek-Nielsen, RSPO Co-Chair, said that in shared responsibility, everyone takes a part of the burden. The document, he added, will make all stakeholders commit themselves to shared responsibility, to actually take ownership because that is important. That is the only way we will transform and make sustainable palm oil the norm.”

Growers, including smallholders, have complained that there were limited takers of their sustainable palm oil.

Webber said that there will be a one-year test run and that during that time no sanction will be envisaged. He said that the sanction would be in the good name of the brand itself.

“So, no more mere commitments for us, it will now be all measured in a transparent way,” Webber said.

The conference will wound up Wednesday and will be followed by the 16th annual RSPO general assembly meeting. At the general assembly, RSPO’s new certification standard for smallholders would be put to vote.

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