Titled “A Renewed Commitment to Achieving Market Transformation”, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) concluded its 16th Annual Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT16) and 15th Annual General Assembly (GA15), with a newly ratified and adopted certification standard aimed to universally strengthen social development, environmental protection, and economic prosperity across the sustainable palm oil value chain
Marking a pivotal time for RSPO and its more than 4,000 global members, the three-day RT16 conference, held at The Magellan Sutera Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, was framed around the key elements of the recent RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C) review: Halting deforestation, protecting peatlands, and strengthening human and labour rights. The collaborative, multi-stakeholder review process, which launched in March 2017 through to October 2018 and received almost 11,500 individual stakeholder comments was tabled, ratified and voted-in by the General Assembly of RSPO. The review process also resulted in the subsequent development of an additional and separate standard specifically for independent smallholders, due for ratification in November 2019.
RSPO chief executive officer, Datuk Darrel Webber, welcomed the newly adopted, consensus-driven P&C 2018 standard: “Today, we endorsed a universal, transformative, and integrated agenda, intended to strengthen transparency and inclusivity in the RSPO system, increase implementation of the RSPO standards, boost market uptake of sustainable palm oil through shared responsibilities, and create an enabling environment for our shared vision of market transformation.”