Last year saw the successful review of the RSPO Principles & Criteria Standard – hailed as 'the most consultative review process ever held for any commodity' – which contacted over 10,000 stakeholders in each round of the consultation (find out more about the RSPO P&C review process in our animation).
During the same period, the first public consultation of the new RSPO Independent Smallholder Standard (ISH) took place. Since then, the Smallholder Interim Group (SHIG) – created to support the development of a simplified approach for certification of independent smallholders – has been working hard to integrate stakeholder comments and produce the second draft of the Independent Smallholder Standard. Now, in 2019, Proforest and Daemeter will continue to facilitate the development of the new Independent Smallholder Standard as it opens to the public for comments for the second time.
The ISH Standard was established as part of the RSPO Smallholder Strategy, a strategy adopted in June 2017 in recognition of the importance of the inclusiveness of smallholder oil palm producers. The strategy mandates RSPO to increase the number of smallholders “through the simplification of the RSPO certification approach."
The Standard applies exclusively to independent smallholders, taking into account the reality of the smallholder context and their needs and reducing the burden for entry into the RSPO system. It is a new and separate Standard from the 2018 generic Principles and Criteria that apply to large growers and mills and smallholders that do not qualify for the ISH Standard. This offers independent smallholders that can apply the ISH Standard a simpler process for reaching certification requirements and associated benefits whilst maintaining core sustainability requirements.