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RSPO Summit informs industry of sustainable palm oil demand

By Andrew McDougall+

26-Sep-2013
Last updated on 26-Sep-2013 at 12:53 GMT2013-09-26T12:53:48Z

RSPO Summit informs industry of sustainable palm oil demand

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s (RSPO) first EU Summit has helped industry to increase demand for sustainable palm oil according to the organisers.

Palm oil and its derivatives are used in about 70 per cent of cosmetics products, and the topic was heavily discussed at the event in event in Berlin which hosted over 260 delegates.

The Summit helped to launch the German Forum for Sustainable Palm Oil and French Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil, and RSPO emphasized that a greater sense of urgency is required to transform the European market and make the palm oil industry fully sustainable.

Keep it up

"Industries within Europe have boldly come forward with tangible national commitments for sustainable palm oil,” said Darrel Webber, Secretary General of the RSPO.

“While some countries have been highly successful in reporting year on year increased adoption and use of sustainable palm oil - a few other markets have regressed in their confidence and commitment towards certified sustainable palm oil.”

Webber explains that this lack of support can discourage growers around the world to continue their efforts towards more sustainable practices in oil palm cultivation.

In Europe there is much greater demand for transparency on ingredients used in products, and RSPO chief believes the time has come for European industries to come together and accelerate their commitment towards sustainable palm oil and inspire large consuming nations, such as India and China, to follow their example.

Call for support

Jan Kees Vis, president of the RSPO Executive Board and global director Sustainable Sourcing Development at Unilever explains that when it comes to accelerating the uptake of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) in consumer markets, the role of companies is much more impactful than those of governments.

“Obtaining RSPO supply chain certification may take some time but it can be done. This requires cooperation at all levels, within a company, to coordinate the work of different teams and units, and across the supply chain to align one company's operations with those of its suppliers,” he says.

“Cooperation is also essential for the development of national forums and alliances for sustainable palm oil, which can send a strong signal on market uptake to growers.”

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