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Increase in certified smallholders and certified palm oil volume - RSPO report

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

According to the RSPO Impact Report 2019, RSPO members make progress in the avoidance of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the inclusion of smallholders and growth of certified land and invested more than US$23 million in restoration projects (graphic courtesy RSPO).

Other noteworthy trends outlined in the RSPO Impact Report 2019, are the significant growth in RSPO certified areas in Africa by 56 percent. From a global perspective, the total RSPO certified area grew by over 22 percent year-on-year to 3.89 million hectares across 16 countries, with a production volume of 14.29 million tonnes of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) and 3.21 million tonnes of Certified Sustainable Palm Kernel (CSPK).

RSPO also approved 19 new grower members over the past financial year, totaling 171 growers in the organisation as of 30 June 2019.

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, said Datuk Darrel Webber, CEO, RSPO.

In terms of membership, RSPO grew by an impressive 11 percent reaching 4 349 members as of 30 June 2019, with the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom achieving the top three respectively for membership.

Interestingly, the report also showed a 25 percent increase in RSPO Trademark licence holders since the last reporting period. Furthermore, there was also a 2 percent growth in overall demand and uptake during this reporting period.

Without more pressure and demand from the downstream market, the likely outcome is more unsustainable palm oil, said Webber.

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 carbon dioxide (CO2).

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