To be held in London on June 4th 2014, the conference will launch a new dialogue among industry players and NGOs in lead up to new EU food labelling regulation
London, April 10, 2014 – The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an international multi stakeholder organization and certification scheme for sustainable palm oil, will gather industry and NGOs from across the UK and Europe at the London River Bank Plaza, on June 4th 2014.
The conference – “100 % Certified Sustainable Palm Oil: Our shared Responsibility” – will also serve as the launch pad for a new dialogue with the supply chain leading up to the entry into force of the new EU food labelling regulation in December 2014, when palm and other vegetable oils will appear on product packs. More information can be found at the conference website: www.eurt.rspo.org
The conference will address many of the topics at the heart of this debate around the shared responsibility of industry and other stakeholders. Key issues under discussion include:
· Is the RSPO certification the best option we have today to source sustainable palm oil, protect the environment and support livelihoods?
· How can RSPO members scale up small-holders certification?
· How should RSPO engage with consumers to seek their active support?
· What are the main bottlenecks in the CSPO supply chain and how can industries overcome them?
· Will Europe be able to fulfil its potential to drive up CSPO demand?
This conference will be the first in a series of interactive dialogues which RSPO will host in the next six months in Europe to share the message that a “100% CSPO market in Europe is our shared responsibility”.
A track record of achievements, but more needs to be done
In the 10 years since the inception of RSPO, its membership has grown to more than 1400 entities. In that time, the percentage of the world’s palm oil production to be RSPO certified has grown to 16%. Increasing numbers of brands have announced their commitment to source only CSPO and are rapidly moving towards 100% CSPO in their supply chain. Across many jurisdictions, industry players are working together to form national alliances to commit collectively to use only CSPO, including the Netherlands, Belgium, UK, France, Germany and Sweden. Total CSPO sales for Q1 2014 have increased more than 50% from Q1 2013.
These achievements are the results of intensive on-the-ground advocacy work and capacity building by RSPO with palm oil growers and supply chain members to help transform the market toward CSPO.
“Europe is reaching a turning point,” commented RSPO Secretary General Darrel Webber, “By the end of 2014, up to 500 million European consumers will learn about palm oil in food products and will be demanding that industry get serious on deforestation and other palm oil problems.”
Currently only 52% of CSPO is purchased by the supply chain. The remaining 48% represents a net loss for growers which have invested in sustainable practices with no return. RSPO calls on all supply chain members in Europe and beyond to support growers by purchasing more CSPO. Only by doing this, we can ask growers to commit to tougher standards. This is our shared responsibility