RSPO certification is an assurance to the customer that the standard of palm oil production is sustainable. Palm oil producers are certified through strict verification of the production process to the stringent RSPO Principles & Criteria for Sustainable Palm Oil Production by accredited certifying bodies. All organizations in the supply chain that use RSPO certified sustainable oil products are audited to prevent overselling and mixing palm oil with conventional (or non-sustainable) oil palm products.
There is urgent concern for all crops/products around the globe to be harvested sustainably. The reason that palm oil has come particularly to the fore is that huge demand for this ingredient has led to some damaging and unsustainable practices, such as deforestation and land clearance, to make way for plantations. RSPO aims to make sustainable palm oil production the norm and currently has 2000 members globally that represent 40% of the industry. Certified palm oil comes from sensitively managed plantations that must meet strict criteria to ensure protection to communities, wildlife and the environment.
Palm oil is widely used around the world in products from soap to chocolate, biscuits and cakes, and as cooking oil. Because palm oil creates between four and ten times more oil per unit of cultivated land than other crops, just trying to replace it with the production of other oils isn’t a practical solution. Many indigenous communities rely on palm oil production for their livelihood; when production is sustainably managed with fair trade principles, this is supportive to the local economies involved. A crop that is managed sustainably can even play a role in protecting the indigenous wildlife and environment.