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Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Standard

RSPO _Palm_Oil_Standard

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Margarine, pizza, chocolate bars, detergents, creams or lipstick - almost every second product in the supermarket contains palm oil. With a one-third share of total consumption, this multifunctional product is one of the world's most important plant-based oils - and the market continues to grow.

At the same time, the economic and cost-effective palm oil is repeatedly criticized. Especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, where large areas of rain-forest are often cleared for the cultivation of oil palms. This makes it even more important, that production is certified to be sustainable under ecological, economic and social aspects.

What is the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)?

To ensure the sustainable production of palm oil, stakeholders such as environmental organisations, food companies, plantations, companies, manufacturers and retailers of palm oil products joined forces in 2004 at the initiative of the WWF (World Wide Fund For Nature) and founded the "Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil" (RSPO) initiative. The RSPO members from more than 50 countries have committed to the following:

  • no clearing of ecologically valuable forest areas for the cultivation of oil palms takes place,
  • observation of legal regulations such as land use and property rights,
  • prevention of child labour,
  • integration and promotion of small farmers and
  • that the plantations are inspected by independent and authorised inspectors.

The aim is to support the use of sustainable palm oil through close cooperation between stakeholders throughout the supply chain.

What is the RSPO Supply Chain Certification System (RSPO SCCS)?

RSPO SCCS certification of a supply chain certifies continuous monitoring of all stages in the palm oil supply chain: from refining and processing, through improvement and transport, to distribution and delivery to the consumer. Certification helps you build customer confidence and demonstrates your commitment to the sustainable production of palm oil products and the use of sustainable palm oil in your products.

Products may only be labelled with a declaration of RSPO certification after all requirements of the RSPO SCCS have been confirmed by an independent and approved certification body.

RSPO provides four supply chain models for certified palm oil:

  1. Identity Preserved (IP): Only those (semi-finished) products can be certified according to this model, that contain 100% RSPO-certified palm oil and can be traced back to an individual palm oil plantation.
  2. Segregation (SG): Only (semi-finished) products can be certified according to this model, that contain 100% RSPO-certified palm oil. However, the palm oil can be from various certified palm oil plantations and palm oil mills.
  3. Mass Balance (MB): Products containing RSPO-certified as well as non-certified palm oil can be certified according to this model. It must be ensured that the processed quantity of RSPO-certified palm oil corresponds to the purchased quantity of certified palm oil. This model is particularly interesting for companies, that cannot guarantee certified and non-certified raw materials always being separated due to their structure or their products.
  4. Book & Claim (BC): This model enables sustainable palm oil producers to participate in certificate trading. The sustainable palm oil, i.e. the physical goods and the sustainability certificates, are traded separately. The tradable certificate represents a certain quantity of palm oil.

How do I prepare for certification according to RSPO SCCS?

The following procedures will help you prepare for certification according to the RSPO SCC standard:

  • Find out about the standard and rules for communication within the supply chain on the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) website;
  • Get the latest standard as a free download
  • Identify your role in the supply chain and identify your supply chain system
  • Become a RSPO member
  • Get yourself certified and...
    • Identify and control your Critical Control Points (CCPs), i.e. points where a mixture of certified and non-certified materials would be possible
    • Clearly identify your certified products to ensure that certified and non-certified goods are not mixed. In detail, this means that... 
      • products from certified sources must be clearly labelled and regularly inspected
      • raw materials as well as unfinished and finished products are also identified and traceability to a certified source can be ensured 
      • the production of certified and non-certified products should be separated in space or time
  • Establish clear documentation of your system and keep records of purchasing, delivery, receipt of goods, shipping, production etc.
  • Train your staff in the system so that they can understand and effectively carry out their tasks.

How can DNV GL help?

To be certified you need to meet all the requirements of the RSPO SCCS and have these requirements confirmed by an independent and approved certification body. We are an independent and approved certification body and our auditors have many years of practice and experience in the field of supply chain assessment. We can provide help throughout the entire certification process; from preparation and planning, training, assessments and to the audit itself. Contact us to learn more.

DNV GL is a member of the Sustainable Palm Oil Forum (FONAP)

DNV GL has been a member of the Sustainable Palm Oil Forum (FONAP) since February 2015. It is an association of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV), private companies, non-governmental organisations and federations. The aim is to import only sustainably certified palm oil to Germany, Austria and Switzerland as quickly as possible. The members of the Sustainable Palm Oil Forum have publicly committed themselves to using only certified, sustainably produced palm oil by the end of 2014 at the latest or to covering ingredients based on palm seed oil with corresponding certificates. Through these and further activities, 100% segregated and certified palm (seed) oil as well as corresponding derivatives should be available as soon as possible.

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