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Technical support to Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)

Palm oil is an ingredient in a vast range of products from cosmetics to foods, as well as a source of biodiesel. But its production can cause severe environmental and social impacts, especially where tropical forests are converted to oil palm plantations. In 2003, the RSPO invited Proforest to lead the process of developing a standard for sustainable palm oil production.

RSPO | 2003—2014

Proforest has provided technical support to the RSPO since its inception, and over the years we have developed a close relationship with the organisation and with a variety of actors along the palm oil supply chain.

Our early work for the RSPO included the facilitation of the developing the RSPO Principles and Criteria. This multistakeholder process brought together oil palm growers, refiners, traders, manufacturers and retailers to discuss and agree a set of principles and criteria covering contentious issues such as land clearance, agrochemical use, workers’ rights and community relations. The process resulted in the development of the RSPO Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Palm Oil Production, which were adopted in 2005 and, after field testing, finalised in 2007.

Proforest also facilitated the process to develop RSPO’s Certification Systems, and provided technical support in developing national interpretations of the Principles and Criteria, and group certification systems for small producers.

More recently Proforest recently supported the RSPO on the facilitation of the New Plantings Procedure Working Group, the development and review of the RSPO Supply Chain Certification Systems, the facilitation of the Greenhouse Gas working Group and the facilitation of the review of the original Principles and Criteria.

Proforest continues to provide training for RSPO Lead Auditors, palm oil producers and HCV assessors in the context of palm oil production.

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