Norpalm Ghana achieves RSPO certification
Last month, Norpalm Ghana Ltd (NGL) became the third palm oil company in Ghana to receive Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification, testament to its commitment to the responsible production of palm oil.
Proforest supported the process by conducting a baseline assessment for NGL and its associated smallholder producers. This assessment identified issues within the production process and actions needed to meet RSPO requirements. Proforest then provided NGL with an action plan, which included a High Conservation Value (HCV) assessment to determine the biological, ecological, social and cultural value of the land to be converted to palm oil plantation.
“Achieving certification is by no means an effortless process, but it certainly provides a significant step in the right direction in terms of industry best practice and sustainability” – Abraham Baffoe, Africa Regional Director, Proforest
NGL is the second company to achieve certification under the Sustainable West African Palm Oil Programme (SWAPP), a four-year programme launched by Solidaridad in 2012. SWAPP also supported Benso Oil Palm Plantation (BOPP) – a subsidiary of Wilmar International Ltd – who received RSPO certification in 2014.
The palm oil industry in West Africa – where the crop originates – is undergoing rapid development, bringing with it the potential for positive economic impacts but also serious social and environmental challenges. Whilst demand for more sustainable sources of palm oil is increasing in response to these challenges, there is also a risk that smallholder producers – who dominate the palm oil industry in West Africa – will be unable to meet these requirements.
SWAPP aims to address these challenges by supporting the sustainable development of the palm oil industry in Ghana and other West African countries whilst securing smallholder producers’ access to global supply chains. An integral part of this programme has been to promote oil palm industry best practices and sustainability through the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Certification.
Proforest led on the certification component of SWAPP and is providing ongoing support to Twifo Oil Palm Plantations Ltd (TOPP), the final implementing company under SWAPP, which is expected to receive RSPO certification in the coming months.
In Ghana, the implementation of broader responsible oil palm commitments, such as those recently adopted in Marrakesh by several West African governments, will continue to be supported by initiatives such as the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA 2020) Africa Palm Oil Initiative (APOI). Ghana is an official member of the TFA 2020 global partnership, and constitutes one of the countries to have developed national principles to guide sustainable palm oil production as well as already working with partners on how to implement their action plans on-the-ground.
For more information about NGL’s achievements within SWAPP, contact Abraham Baffoe.
Read more about our work with palm oil in Africa.