Posted on: July 13, 2018

Ben Vreeburg, Sustainability Director at Bunge Loders Croklaan in his blog about 'How to contribute to reforming the palm oil sector' in the July edition of the companies Sustainablity Newsletter:

"The last couple of years RSPO has been criticized for lack of credibility and a certification standard that is holding back the progressive reform of the sector. Despite all this negative energy, RSPO has gained a leading position in the sustainability debate around palm oil and approximately 20% of the global palm oil production is now RSPO certified.

What if... the people and organizations that criticized RSPO had instead demanded that downstream RSPO members should buy 100% RSPO certified oil? A higher demand for RSPO oil would further stimulate production of RSPO certified material. More growers would have joined the RSPO.RSPO could serve as a stepping stone to long-term higher voluntary standards such as RSPO NEXT, NDPE and the POIG standard. When NGOs demand that producers adopt these higher standards, they overlook this need for a step-wise process. RSPO may not be perfect but positive attention from NGOs on driving the uptake of RSPO certified oil will serve their cause much more effectively than more criticism.

I believe increased demand of RSPO would send a strong signal to growers. Incentives are critical: growers need to see that there is reward for investing in continual improvement and sustainability practices. RSPO certified oil provides this andit is the only game in town as far as certification is concerned. However, the continued undermining of the RSPO is sending mixed signals to growers and consumers."

Please read the full Newsletter here.