Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, (RSPO) certifies palm oil, palm kernel and derivatives. It guarantees and enhances the products obtained with palm oil and palm kernel from crops managed according to criteria of environmental and social sustainability.
What it is certified
RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) is a multi-stakeholder non-governmental organisation founded in 2004 to minimise the environmental and social impacts of palm oil growing, through the introduction of sustainability standards consisting of different social, economic and environmental parameters. RSPO certification is the most important sustainability standard in the field globally. To date, millions of tons of palm oil (20% of total world production) are produced sustainably, covering about 3.5 million hectares of plantations. The strength of RSPO certification lies in the use of independent certification bodies, which ensure product certification along with the entire chain. Sustainable palm oil production has grown more than 18 times since 2008, and today RSPO has more than 2,000 members worldwide. The standard and RSPO certification are intended to protect the market, the industry and the supply chain from the indiscriminate spread of palm oil, whose unrestrained production is endangering essential areas of rainforest or areas formerly used for food production, which are converted to the cultivation of palm oil. According to RSPO, the solution to environmental problems can be achieved through the use of certified and sustainable palm oil (CSPO). Massive replacement of palm oil with other lower yield vegetable oils could lead to increased soil consumption for the same volume of oil produced, putting the planet’s forests even more at risk. Palm oil is mainly used in food industry, in a wide range of food products such as cooking oils, margarine, confectionery fats, sweets, biscuits, ice cream and other foods, but it is also used in cosmetics, detergents and biofuels. ICEA is authorised to check and certify compliance with the RSPO Supply Chain Certification Standard.
The first certification level is the Mass Balance (MB). Such certification allows mixing of palm oil from certified crusher (SPO (Sustainable Palm Oil)/SPKO(Sustainable Palm Kernel Oil) and/or derivatives) with conventional palm oil (PO (Palm Oil) and PKO (Palm Kernel oil) and/or derivatives) during transport and storage. For this mechanism, only a final mass balance (e.g. same SPO quantities as for PO) and an administrative control are required.
In this case, palm oil/palm kernel oil (SPO/SPKO) and/or certified derivatives must be kept well separated and identified by conventional ones. All steps along the supply chain – from certified plantations to the final product – shall be traced. This level of certification is more demanding regarding both time and cost than Mass Balance (MB).
Identity Preserved (IP)
It is the highest level of commitment and certification and allows going back through the supply chain to the group of plantations from which certified palm oil/palm kernel oil (SPO/SPKO) originated. Again, the certified oil must be kept physically isolated and identified by palm oil from other conventional sources.
How to certify
The certification process is divided into six main phases.
- Membership request to be submitted to RSPO (www.rspo.org). Once you have requested the RSPO member code, please contact ICEA to define the next steps.
- Signing of the Certification Contract and request of ICEA services.
- Initial assessment of products and production process. The applicant company shall provide the documentation required by ICEA and useful for the pre-valuation and preparation of the audit.
- On-site inspection to verify the actual compliance with the requirements of the standard for specific productions and types of activities.
- Issue of a Certificate of Compliance based on information and data collected as part of the evaluation and verification process. After that, RSPO Member code can be obtained.
- Annual surveillance through regular inspections to confirm the maintenance of compliance conditions.