Tag Archives: rspo palm oil

Prospects and Challenges of Sustainable Palm Oil for China

The RSPO put up an interesting case study recently into the prospects and challenges of sustainable palm oil for China. Although we’ve been quiet here on the ‘What is Palm Oil’ blog for the past couple of months, we’re back to discuss this interesting topic.

The Chinese Government actually has a strategy in place to develop a ‘Harmonious Society’ by 2020 – this will be focused on human progress, social civilization and sustainable development. As China are one of the world’s top importers of palm oil they could potentially be very influential when it comes to sustainable development.

The RSPO have outlined principles and criteria for sustainability into a certification system. This certification system is then being rolled-out throughout the world. Europe has currently shown the largest uptake and interest from both producers and from the demand side interestingly enough.

Palm oil is not only the most widely traded vegetable oil in the world, but has also recently become the first greatest import variety of vegetable oil for China. In the past 2 years China’s average volume of palm oil imported has hit over 6 million tons! This large increase in imports means that China will have a significant influence over palm oil producers.

RSPO’s study goes into multiple different policy options for the promotion of sustainable palm oil in China. However we feel the most important one is the establishment of a national policy objective for sustainable palm oil. This would be a national policy set by the Chinese Government stating that China should only import and use any palm oil which has been produced in a sustainable manner. These sustainable palm oil production methods will obviously have to meet the internationally recognised standards mentioned above. This policy would put huge pressure on the producers to only produce the palm oil sustainably, therefore increasing the amount of sustainably produced palm oil worldwide.

What kind of policy changes do you think China should adopt to promote sustainable palm oil? Do you think 2020 is a reasonable goal for hitting their targets? If you’d like to read the full study you can grab the PDF from the RSPO site here.


First African Palm Oil Plantation Given RSPO Certification

palm oil

Agrivar Agro Industrie Variée has been labelled as the very first African Palm Oil Plantation to be given an RSPO Certification. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) follow a series of strict guidelines which a palm oil plantation must meet to be certified. Agrivar Agro Industrie Variée is based in Bonoua Town, in the Ivory Coast, just 60km south of Abijan. The organisation currently employs a total of 91 people, including 20 women.

This is brilliant news for the palm oil industry, especially considering many foresee that Africa will become one of the leading nations for palm oil production, in the near future. Malaysia and Indonesia currently dominate the supply of palm oil, however they’re recently facing land issues. With Agrivar leading the charge, we expect to see many other palm oil plantations across the region also become RSPO certified over the next couple of years.

Any palm oil plantation which becomes RSPO certified must follow a series of specific internal goals which fall under the following range of different headings:

  • Customer Loyalty
  • Benefits
  • Market leadership
  • Development
  • Employee Engagement
If you’d like to see the full range of RSPO certified palm oil plantations, the RSPO website has a handy list available here.

Palm Oil Conference – POC2012

The Palm Oil And Lauric Oils Conference & Exhibition Price Outlook (POC) is only a week away! The event is held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on a yearly basis. Key players in the palm oil industry attend from over 40 countries annually. The event will be held this year on March 5th-7th, meaning you only have a week left to get registered!

The palm oil and lauric oils conference and exhibition is now into its 2nd decade. The event not only provides attendees with a brilliant networking opportunities, but will also offer a variety of important informative discussions regarding the future of the palm oil and edible oil industries.

If you have any kind of interest in the palm oil industry, then we strongly recommend you attend POC2012. From the event you’ll be able to get quality tips and advice from industry experts. As previously stated, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to network with industry professionals.

This March, huge names will be attending the event, including the certificate trading programme, GreenPalm. POC2012 has been organised by Bursa Malaysia Derivatives, and is extremely important for the development of the price outlook on the palm oil market.

If you’re interested to find out more about POC2012, be sure to visit their official website – http://www.pocmalaysia.com

Palm Oil – GreenPalm

The demand for palm oil is constantly increasing – more manufacturers are using palm oil in their products every day. Sadly this palm oil is often sourced from unsustainable production plantations, which as a result are causing deforestation and various other forms of pollution.  As a result of this many consumers have taken a stand, and are even boycotting any product containing palm oil.

We believe however that this is not the way to approach the situation, but instead more and more people should be supporting sustainably produced palm oil. Palm oil is present in hundreds of products nowerdays, and is seen as a necessity; therefore it’s unrealistic to believe it’ll be eradicated from these products altogether. Sustainable palm oil however completely removes any issues of deforestation and pollution.

Organisations such as GreenPalm have been set up to help promote sustainable palm oil. GreenPalm is a certificate trading programme which tackles both the environmental and social issues caused by palm oil production. Suppliers can then reward palm oil producers for working sustainably, whilst telling their customers that they’ve sourced sustainable palm oil. Major organisations such as Cadbury’s use GreenPalm’s certificate trading programme.

In the next few years we expect even more major players to jump on board with GreenPalm’s certificate trading programme, and use sustainably sourced palm oil. We’d like to think eventually almost all palm oil will be sustainably sourced. If you have any organisations which help spread the word about sustainable palm oil, please don’t hesitate to get in touch so that we can cover them in a future blog post.

Palm Oil – Top 5 Interesting Links

Palm oil is a hot topic right now. We’ve been to the edges of the internet to bring you our top 5 palm oil related links. We’ve managed to get a huge variety of useful and informative links – from the latest palm oil news, information about sustainable palm oil, a palm oil certificate trading program, and even a site to buy and sell palm oil.

  • http://www.greenpalm.org/en/about-palm-oil/what-is-palm-oil – GreenPalm is a certificate trading programme, designed to tackle the environmental and social problems created by the production of palm oil. GreenPalm actively promotes sustainable palm oil production, and is directly endorsed by the RSPO.
  • http://topics.bloomberg.com/palm-oil/ – Bloomberg is a site for the latest business news and financial information. They’ve even got a specific section just for palm oil news. If you’re invested in the palm oil industry, or simply take an interest in the palm oil market, then be sure to visit Bloomberg.
  • http://www.alibaba.com/products/palm_oil/–20607.html – Alibaba is an award winning trade site for Manufacturers, Suppliers, Exporters, Importers, Buyers and Wholesalers. As of writing they have 6,879 items listed under palm oil.
  • http://www.wwf.org.uk/what_we_do/safeguarding_the_natural_world/forests/forest_conversion/how_clean_is_our_palm_oil_.cfm – A great article showing the latest 2011 scorecard for palm oil buyers using sustainable palm oil. We’re very interested to see the improvements this year, however until this point we certainly recommend checking out the 2011 scorecard.
  • http://www.rspo.org/ – The RSPO are the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm. They are a non-profit organisation which aim to promote the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products, by using global standards and engaging with stakeholders.

We hope you find these links to be as useful as we do. If you come across any interesting palm oil related links which you think we missed, be sure to let us know in the comments below and we’ll add them to our list!

Palm Oil Biodiesel Rejected

It’s all over the news this week – the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that palm oil biodiesel doesn’t meet the greenhouse gas emissions reduction level required to be used as an alternative to petrol-based diesel fuel.

To produce their results the EPA takes into consideration the emission and energy inputs for fuel production, alongside the change in land use needed to use palm oil as a feedstock.  Their results found that palm oil produces a 17% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, however the law requires that a biodiesel produces a reduction of 20% when compared to traditional diesel fuel.

These results from the EPA however lean largely on assumptions about how the biodiesel fuels are actually being produced. Obviously every plantation operates slightly differently, therefore a sustainable palm oil production plant will have a significantly lower level of emissions than that of a standard plantation.

The EPA will continue to look for new forms of biodiesel with lower greenhouse gas emissions. However we’re starting to see a real increase in the amount of sustainable palm oil production plants recently – which provides a good chance that the emissions footprint of palm oil could become even lower in the future. Be sure to continue support for sustainably sourced palm oil in the products you purchase.

Palm Oil: GreenPalm Brokerage Fee Reduction

GreenPalm, the leading certificate trading programme supporting the production of sustainable palm oil, has reached a new milestone and as a result have reduced their brokerage fees once again. Back in August 2011, the palm oil certificate trading programme, had a brokerage reduction to $1.50. From January 1st 2012 all palm oil certificate trades will carry a reduced brokerage fee of $1 per certificate!

What benefits does this brokerage fee reduction provide? Put simply, it allows for an even more cost effective solution for those supporting sustainable palm oil. One of the biggest barriers to entry for companies to join in and support sustainable palm oil is the cost. With a lower base cost comes an increase in demand. This is great news for sustainable palm oil, as all of us would like to see production be 100% sustainable.

Here’s a rundown of GreenPalm’s brokerage fee history:

  • September 2008 – October 2009 $3 fee
  • November 2009 – July 2011 $2 fee
  • August 2011 – December 2011 $1.5 fee
  • January 2012 – Onwards $1 fee

At the end of 2011 GreenPalm & the RSPO also managed to reach another impressive landmark – the 3 millionth certificate, since the trading programme began in September 2008. What does this mean exactly? The RSPO gets $3 million back, which it then puts towards funding work, such as the upcoming independent smallholder project. Also the 3 million tonnes of RSPO certified palm oil which has been sold thanks to GreenPalm, has managed to result in huge premiums of over $20 million back to a range of RSPO certified producers, which averages at around $6.80 per certificate. Impressive numbers!

For more information about GreenPalm and their sustainable palm oil certificate trading programme be sure to visit – http://www.greenpalm.org