The RSPO is a multi-stakeholder not-for-profit organisation that works to advance the production and use of sustainable oil palm products
It publishes a full Impact Report every two years, and has also issued annual Impact Updates since 2015, which according to the organisation is to ensure that all stakeholders stay informed on a yearly basis.
The RSPO notes that as this Impact Update builds on and makes reference to the RSPO 2016 Impact Report, which contains a more extensive overview of our latest activities and initiatives, it is recommended to read both in conjunction.
Its documentation for this can be found in full here.
The following is a selection of some the key findings from the latest impact report:
As at 30 June 2017, plantations covering a total of 3.2 million hectares across 16 countries are RSPO certified, an increase of 14% since the last reporting period
Indonesia and Malaysia still top the list of countries for total certified hectarage, but progress has been made in many regions.
Latin America saw an 11% expansion in certified area, while certified area in Africa grew by 22,773 hectares - a relatively small amount compared to other regions, but a 70% growth in local terms.
The RSPO has a total of 3,422 members across 89 countries - a 16% increase since the close of the last reporting period (30 June 2016).
Smallholders are a central focus for the RSPO efforts, as they play a significant role in the supply chain, and efforts so far to support them to produce in a sustainable fashion are apparently lacking.
By mid-2016, smallholders were producing 40% of the world’s palm oil. Supporting these farmers to transition to more sustainable practices is therefore a priority for the RSPO.
There has been a 12% decrease in the number of certified independent smallholders since the last reporting period, and more specifically, a 38% and 25% decrease in certified independent smallholders in Indonesia and Thailand respectively.
This decrease is explained by the licence expiry of seven independent smallholder groups in Indonesia and Thailand during the reporting period.
Moving to address these issues, The RSPO Smallholder Strategy was finalised during the reporting period with the aim to create a supportive environment for smallholders to achieve sustainable livelihoods.