You might call it a conspiracy why your palm oil is not demanded abroad beyond some African Stores when the market is over $100Bn worldwide. It is because there is an urgent need and growing concern that commodities are produced without causing harm to the environment or society at large. RSPO certification is an assurance to the consumer that the standard of production is sustainable. Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is an internationally recognized standard for assuring sustainable production of palm oil and palm kernel oil across the supply chain. Many of the world’s major brand owners and retailers now require their suppliers to become certified.
Big buyers such as Nestle SA had stated that buying the certified variety is one way of pushing the industry toward a sustainable future and it aims to use 100 percent of RSPO-certified oil by 2023. This is a huge opportunity for Nigerian palm oil companies both big and small to tap into. Its counterparts Mondelez Inc have similar plans.
Apart from this, the opportunities for RSPO-certified palm oil are enormous. One such opportunity is, RSPO certified palm oil is 8-12% more expensive than non-certified palm oil. Like in all the other certifications for food products, consumers today are demanding to know what is in their food, where the ingredients come from, and how it is made. And because of this, companies now pay higher prices for responsibly produced palm oil. The European Union is also clamping down on unsustainable supply and that is yet another opportunity to get certified and target organisations that will pay more if you are RSPO certified.
How Do You Become Certified
You get the certification in 4 simple steps over a period of 2 – 3 months if you follow it to the letter and do not give up at some point.
1. Choose your role in the supply chain
2. Choose your supply chain system
3. Become an RSPO member
4. Get Certified
What Standards Are RSPO Members Accountable For
The RSPO standard holds members accountable to eight key principles:
- Commitment to transparency
- Compliance with applicable laws and regulations
- Commitment to long-term economic and financial viability
- Use of appropriate best practices by growers and millers
- Environmental responsibility and conservation of natural resources and biodiversity
- Responsible consideration of employees, and of individuals and communities affected
- Responsible development of new plantings
- Commitment to continuous improvement in key areas of activity
- Certified growers account for 19% of global palm oil production (2014).
- Members make up a large part of the world’s palm oil that is produced and sold in the global market.
- Key social and environmental NGOs lend their sighting to the processes for greater transparency and credibility.
- As all the members are bound to accept RSPO certification on each other, the value of the status is quite universal.