PALMOILMAGAZINE, JAKARTA – The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a leading global organization for sustainable palm oil, has seen a significant increase in certification among smallholders and independent mills in Indonesia.
The demand and supply of RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) shows a continuous increase. In just the first ten months of 2023 (January-October 2023), the RSPO, which operates through a voluntary membership-driven approach, has seen a 19% increase in its members in Indonesia, led largely by environmental NGOs, consumer goods manufacturers, and smallholders.
In 2022, Indonesia’s RSPO Certification area grew by 4%, and continued to grow by another 6% from January 2023 to September 2023, representing more than 2.5 million hectares of land, including plantation land and certified independent smallholder (ISH) areas. By 2022, 25 new mills had also been certified in accordance with the RSPO Standard’s Principles and Criteria (P&C), with a growing number of 18 more new units by the third quarter of 2023.
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Mahatma Windrawan Inantha, RSPO Indonesia Deputy Director of Market Transformation said, Over the years, RSPO members have played a fundamental role in continuing to drive the scale towards higher levels of sustainability in the Indonesian palm oil sector.
“In Indonesia, all signs point to an industry ready to embrace the RSPO global sustainability standard, which is the palm oil industry at its best. Whether it is increased certification among smallholders and mills or increased local uptake, remediation and even conservation, we are seeing encouraging progress, and this relies on the power of collaboration,” said Windrawan quoted by palmoilmagazine.com.
According to Asian Agri’s Sustainability Officer, Doris Sukanto, independent smallholders currently make up less than 20% of the total certified independent smallholders. SMILE is a multi-stakeholder collaboration designed to uplift independent smallholders in Indonesia, and secure a sustainable palm oil supply chain, through certification.
“By leveraging Asian Agri’s extensive experience in smallholder partnerships, we hope to support independent smallholders who face challenges such as lack of agronomic knowledge and lack of access to larger markets. This is also part of our long-term commitment to help 5,000 independent smallholders achieve RSPO Certification by 2030,” Doris said.
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WWF Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil Project Leader, Angga Prathama Putra, said that currently the organization has collaborated with 1,000 smallholders to implement sustainable palm oil practices, of which 700 smallholders have successfully obtained RSPO certificates, and have mapped traceability for 247 smallholders with production reaching 1,402 tons of CPO. “We are also currently accepting new members for 490 smallholders,” Angga said.
Even to increase the uptake of CSPO, WWF has also initiated with 46 business players, and among them 11 players are committed to increasing their sustainable palm oil production. “And have invited 3 palm oil mills in an effort to invite consumers to use sustainable palm oil products,” Angga said.
RSPO member PT Bio Inti Agrindo (PT BIA), whose plantations and plasma smallholder areas are RSPO certified, is an example of how palm oil operators in Indonesia are prioritizing the development of remediation and compensation procedures to improve sustainability standards in the sector.
Kartika Dewi, ESG Manager, PT BIA, said, “As one of the first plantations in Papua to be RSPO certified, we have a strong commitment to environmental responsibility, conservation and community development programs.”
From 20-22 November 2023, the RSPO will host its flagship Annual Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT2023) in Jakarta. The conference, which preempts the RSPO’s 20th Anniversary in April 2024 is themed ‘Partners for the Next 20’ and will feature key trends and collective action that the industry can capitalise on to further boost the development of sustainable palm oil globally. Experts from around the world will converge to address pressing topics including labour, climate financing, traceability systems, the future of assurance, smallholder inclusion, food security, jurisdictional approaches and more. More information on RT2023 is available here.