Affordable ISPO Certification for Smallholders via Jurisdictional Scale

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Certification process for smallholders would be minimized in jurisdiction scale. Photo by: Sawit Fest 2021 / Muhammad Jumadil Awal

PALMOILMAGAZINE, JAKARTA – Palm oil certification is crucial for achieving sustainable agricultural practices. However, despite the various certification schemes in place, there are weaknesses that need to be addressed to enhance their effectiveness.

One major issue is the fairness of certification accessibility. The high cost of certification poses a significant barrier for smallholders who wish to participate in sustainability programs. Field experiences have shown that many smallholders cannot afford the certification process, raising concerns about equitable access to sustainable certification. Ensuring that certification costs are affordable for all stakeholders is essential.

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Bernadinus Steni Sugiarto of Yayasan Kaleka noted that if the certification process covers fewer than 500 smallholders, it can be very expensive, costing more than $170 per smallholder. However, if the process covers more than 2,000 smallholders, the cost drops significantly to less than $50 per smallholder.

Also Read: SPKS: Challenges and Solutions for ISPO Certification Among Indonesian Smallholders

o address this issue, a more holistic and coordinated approach is needed. One proposed solution is to scale up the certification process to include more smallholders. By expanding the coverage, the overall cost would be reduced, making certification more affordable and accessible for a larger number of smallholders.

Besides, it needs intervention to minimize certification process costs by providing and delivering subsidy to escalate the smallholders’ capacity, map their areas, establish their organization, and deal with their legal (areas) to be getting certification process more efficient and fairer for every involved stakeholder.

By considering every issue and adopting more inclusive and coordinated approach, we would ensure that palm oil certification would really contribute to create more sustainable and environmental industries. “Certification process for smallholders would be minimized in jurisdiction scale,” Steni said. (T2)

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