News & Events
September 5th, 2010

Source: Voxy Co. NZ | Date: 21 JUN 2010

The Food and Grocery Council is pleased to announce our membership of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), says Chief Executive, Katherine Rich. "FGC is proud to be the first grocery sector industry association in the world to join the RSPO. This demonstrates the commitment of local FGC members to do their part in supporting sustainable palm oil production."

The RSPO is a global non-profit association formed in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders.

"The RSPO plays a critical role in uniting the numerous parties involved in the supply chain. Members include well known brands such as the World Wildlife Fund, Oxfam, The Body Shop, Marks and Spencer, and Tesco. All of which have expressed their commitment to sustainability."

Mrs Rich says that it is widely accepted that when grown on appropriate farming land, palm oil is the most environmentally sustainable, cost effective and versatile vegetable oil available in the world today. Palm oil is a vegetable oil present in a wide range of grocery products available today in New Zealand.

"We support the RSPO because they take the approach of working with communities who are currently supported by palm oil plantations to find sustainable options.

The solution isn't to simply turn off the tap on palm oil communities. This would have disastrous and ultimately unsustainable impacts."
Some facts on palm oil production:

* When grown on appropriate farming land, palm oil is the most environmentally sustainable, cost effective and versatile vegetable oil available in the world today.
* The World Bank credits the crop with lifting millions of people out of poverty over the last 50 years. It is a very profitable crop in both industrial plantations and smallholder contexts.
* Many plantations are small family farms that have produced palm oil sustainably for many decades supporting families, and providing infrastructure for communities such as schools, hospitals and transport. For example, in Indonesia about 40 percent of production is from smallholder operations.
* Palm oil has the highest yield of any oil seed crop. It is one of the world's most productive vegetable oil crop, meaning that more oil is produced with less land than any other substitute. Other vegetable oils can require up to 10 times the land to produce the same amount of oil.
* The multiple uses of 'by products' can increase profits and reduce waste. With a combination of reuse, recycling, using solid and liquid wastes, and appropriate energy management, the CPO industry can achieve almost zero pollution discharge, making it an environmentally friendly industry.