Sustainable Palm Oil: The Change in Uncertain Time

Sustainable Palm Oil: The Change in Uncertain Time

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA - We knew the economic situation and many should be unemployed because of the pandemic. It is predicted that 9 million people of Indonesia would be jobless and be poor. Though we do not know how much time to end this situation, when we prepare in the new normal era, we should not ignore the achievement that we accomplished in palm oil industries and we should go on within our goals to realize the sustainable palm oil.

There are few industries in Indonesia showing the good progress, such as, palm oil industries in the last two decades. Palm oil industries contributed among 1,5% - 2,5% of the gross domestic products (GDP) in Indonesia and have hired 8,4 million men in Indonesia – starting from the smallholders, the workers in the factories and the suppliers. By the pandemic which would slow down the economy and make other sector, such as, tourism, food and beverage, retails, get loss up to billions of dollars, it is predictable that the government of Indonesia would depend on the agriculture and commodity, such as, palm oil to re-develop the economy in Indonesia.

Because Covid-19 impacts globally, we need to think of how we keep encouraging the palm oil sector to realize 100% of sustainability.

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is the organization that consists of many stakeholders in the world within the goal, to realize the sustainable palm oil certification. We keep trying to realize the vision and goal to make sustainable palm oil as the norm though it faces challenges to do certification and audit in the pandemic.

Encouraging the workers is important to ensure that sustainable palm oil keeps running – namely from the smallholders who depend on it as their source of living and the consumers who depend on our certification to make the right and best choice.

When we try to navigate the new normal life, there are some things for you to be the good consumers of knowledge or ‘activists’ in sustainable palm oil.

1.         Should have the right base. If you want to know about the sustainable palm oil issues and everything done to realize 100% sustainable palm oil in Indonesia and in the world, I suggest you to see the Sustainable Agriculture of WWF about palm oil. If you do further study about RSPO, the update progress, and the certification, you need to start it from RSPO Sustainability College.

2.         Admit and support the members and the companies that care about. The facts are many companies showing initiatives but many companies too are left behind to be committed in the sustainable practices. The best ways to advantage your time are by connecting your favorite brands and asking for them to use certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO). It would be better if you thank the companies, such as, P&G and Unilever which are committed to use CSPO in their products. Many non-government organizations such as WWF, which published the scorecards to help you to decide based on the experience. The new regulation in the new Shared Responsibility RSPO gives us freedom to encourage the companies in the right way.

3.         Support the national parks and conservation programs. Many do not realize that the zoo would help and encourage the expense to conservation in the palm oil producer countries, for example, Oregon Zoo in the United States of America within the Forest for the programs in Sabah, Malaysia. In 2017, RSPO signed the moratorium of understanding (MOU) with World Aquarium and Zoo Association (WAZA) to develop the goals and targets in the relationship with the industrial transformation to make sustainable palm oil as the norm. The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation in Indonesia keeps working to conserve orangutan and its habitat in Kalimantan. Every rupiah would help the organizations. It might be the right time to list as the member of the organization or donate them. (Director of RSPO Indonesia/Tiur Rumondang)

For more, please read InfoSAWIT, July 2020


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