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Saturday April 21, 2012

Certified sustainable palm oil fast gaining market acceptance, says roundtable

PETALING JAYA: Annual production capacity for certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) has reached a record six million tonnes in less than four years since certification began, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) said.

RSPO secretary-general Darrel Webber said in a statement that the market’s acceptance of sustainable palm oil was “accelerating at a significant pace”.

“RSPO also takes this opportunity to applaud our Indonesian grower members for their continuous drive towards sustainability, as they now lead the pack as the number one producer of CSPO both in terms of volume and production area, overtaking Malaysia.

“Both producer markets together with the new frontiers play a significant role in conserving the interests of our environment, our communities and the world we live in,” he said.

RSPO added that CSPO had achieved a 20% growth rate within half a year in terms of both CSPO production area to 1,221,240 hectares and CSPO annual production capacity to 6,017,193 tonnes.

There were 11 new palm oil mills certified in the first quarter of 2012, making up a total 46 mills certified to date amongst 30 producer organisations or growers primarily from Malaysia and Indonesia, and increasingly from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Latin America and West Africa.

“Interest levels from new members across geographies have been phenomenal – more than 100 new members came into the RSPO fold within the first quarter of this year, mostly from the European region and primarily from Germany and France, which we hope will continue to strengthen the demand for CSPO.

“Although much has been achieved, the industry is still confronted with many challenges and henceforth, RSPO aims to continue with its commitment to guide and inspire affirmative transformation,” Webber added.

The Zurich-based RSPO, which was set up eight years ago, seeks to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products through credible global standards and engagement with stakeholders.

These include palm oil producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and social or developmental NGOs.

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