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The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Expels 15 Members

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) announced last week that it has ousted 15 of its members and suspended 62 other for failures to meet reporting standards. The expelled members were those that failed to submit required annual reports for three years in a row and primarily included small-scale processors and traders. The 62 suspended members were done so for failing to report for two consecutive years and included a diverse range of stakeholders, including NGO, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Asia and the Pacific, and Seventh Generation, an American company that sells "green" household products.

The announcement follows World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) release of analysis of data compiled by RSPO evaluating member producers on several criteria. The results of the analysis of self-reported data showed that while 70% of member growers submitted reports, only 58% reported the size of the estates they managed. Moreover, of the 92 members in the RSPO, only 53% released how much crude palm oil they produce and only 38% was certified sustainable. While the picture the analysis paints is unfavorable for RSPO, WWF suggests that the termination of RSPO membership may be an indication that, going forward, the certification body will more strictly enforce standards.

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Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at lkiernan@highquestgroup.com.

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