RSPO 2017 impact report

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

RSPO 2017 impact report
The Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has released its impact update for 2017. We take a look at the highlights.

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​.

Key findings

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).

Smallholder spotlight

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.

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