RSPO releases 2019 Impact Report

5 Nov 2019

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has released its 2019 Impact Report, highlighting that the number of RSPO certified independent smallholders increased by 52% and the total number of smallholders increased by 165% during the period of 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.

This, it says, is a particularly encouraging result as the RSPO continues to promote greater inclusion of smallholders while also ensuring that the core sustainability requirements are upheld.

RSPO releases 2019 Impact Report

Other noteworthy trends included significant growth in RSPO certified area in Africa by 56%. From a global perspective, the total RSPO certified area grew by over 22% year-on-year to 3.89 million hectares across 16 countries, with a production volume of 14.29 million metric tonnes (MT) of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) and 3.21 million MT of Certified Sustainable Palm Kernel (CSPK). RSPO also approved 19 new grower members over the past financial year, totalling 171 growers in the organisation as of 30 June 2019.

RSPO Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Darrel Webber, said: “I’m thrilled to see this sort of growth across a number of important parts of the sustainable palm oil value chain, particularly with regard to smallholders, and just before the new Independent Smallholder Standard is tabled for adoption at our upcoming roundtable conference this November. I’m confident we’ll see these numbers continue to increase in the years to come.”

In terms of membership, RSPO grew by 11%, reaching 4,349 members as of 30 June 2019, with the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom achieving top three respectively for membership. The report also showed a 25% increase in RSPO Trademark licence holders since the last reporting period. Furthermore, there was also a 2% growth in overall demand and uptake during this reporting period.

RSPO CEO, Datuk Darrel Webber, took this opportunity to call upon downstream members: “Without more pressure and demand from the downstream market, the likely outcome is more unsustainable palm oil.”

Additionally, RSPO members continued their efforts by avoiding land clearance and any new planting on peat, and by sequestering conservation areas in new development, thus saving 1.4 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to removing almost 300,000 passenger vehicles from the road in a single year.

RSPO members from across the world will meet at the 17th Annual Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT17) in Bangkok, Thailand, under the theme, ‘A Shared Responsibility: Converting Commitments into Actions’. With 2020 sustainability targets fast approaching, RT17 will, says RSPO, be the ideal platform for representatives from the global palm oil industry to discuss the latest challenges and opportunities facing the sustainable palm oil sector.

Thereafter, members of RSPO‘s 16th Annual General Assembly (GA16) will vote on a number of resolutions, including the new proposed RSPO Independent Smallholder Standard.