As palm oil growers, traders and consumers gather in Kuala Lumpur for the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) meeting it is clear that innovation is needed to break the link between palm oil and deforestation and social conflict.
One initiative is leading the way in demonstrating What’s Next for the RSPO. The Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG) is a collective of progressive palm oil companies together with environmental and social NGOs that are working to push the boundaries of current requirements of the RSPO.
The POIG has reached a number of new milestones in its efforts to find innovative ways to build on the current Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standards to halt deforestation, respect rights, resolve conflict and ensure greater traceability from plantations to grocery store shelves.
• POIG palm oil producer members, Agropalma and New Britain Palm Oil Limited, have commenced to trial third party verification of their practices against the Palm Oil Innovation Group Charter. These producers are breaking ground on new ways to implement the High Carbon Stock Approach and improve worker conditions and are driving the refinement of the procedures and indicators used to confirm compliance. Major palm oil producer Golden Agri-Resources has recently applied to become a member of the POIG and its application is being considered.
• New members with social expertise have joined the POIG and a Technical Advisory Group has been set up to develop innovative new ways to verify that companies uphold strong social safeguards including the protection of community and workers’ rights in the palm oil sector.
• Integral to the POIG Charter is a commitment to break the link between palm oil expansion and deforestation, by conserving and restoring High Conservation Values (HCV), by respecting the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of affected communities and by putting a High Carbon Stock Approach into practice. Members of the POIG have joined a broad group of stakeholders in establishing a High Carbon Stock Approach Steering Group that will govern the refinement and standardization of the HCS Approach.
• Five of the world’s leading consumer goods manufacturers and retailers today pledged their support to drive the transformation of their sector towards responsible palm oil production and sourcing. Ferrero, REWE Group, EDEKA, Boulder Brands and Stephenson have all announced their support for the Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG). This growing support amongst buyers of palm oil shows a pressing need for the palm oil industry to innovate and meet the new global benchmark for responsible palm oil.
The Palm Oil Innovation Group is leading the way in innovation. The question now is whether or not the RSPO will adopt these innovations to find new ways to transform the palm oil landscape for the better.
For media comment contact representatives of the Palm Oil Innovation Group:
Suzanne Kroger, Greenpeace: + 62 811 8800 420, Suzanne.firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon Lord, New Britain Palm Oil: email@example.com
Adam Harrison, WWF: firstname.lastname@example.org
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