Palm Oil Smallholders in Indonesia,Malaysia,PNG Get Sustainanility Nod
Source: DowJones | Date: 11 NOV 2010
KUALA LUMPUR (Dow Jones)--The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil certified 25,000 small-scale palm oil growers in Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea Thursday, raising the volume of environment-friendly vegetable oil available for sale globally.
The RSPO, an industry consortium of retailers, environmental groups and oil-palm growers, was able to complete the certification process for the smallholders after it created special rules that eased concerns the farmers would have to shoulder prohibitively higher costs incurred in audits of plantation operations.
"These smallholders prove that the RSPO is not and should not be just about large palm-oil producers and users...Over the next few years, hundreds of thousands more smallholders will become certified producers of sustainable palm oil," RSPO president Jan Kees Vis said in a statement.
Smallholders make up a significant proportion of oil palm estates in the three countries, but they generally underperform compared with bigger plantation companies in terms of environmental practices and yields. For the industry to be fully compliant with sustainable certification standards, it made economic sense for major plantation companies in Indonesia and Malaysia to bear the costs of certification for smallholders, who buy their seeds and whose palm products they process.
The RSPO awarded certificates to smallholder groups working with New Britain Palm Oil Ltd.(NBPO.LN) and Hargy Oil Palms Ltd. in Papua New Guinea, PT Hindoli and PT Agrowiratama estates in Indonesia and Malaysia's state plantation firm the Federal Land Development Authority and privately-held Keresa Plantations Sdn. Bhd