September 1, 2011
GLAND, Switzerland--The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced that Agropalma, the world's largest sustainable palm oil body, certified its 1 millionth hactare of plantations, a major milestone in the on-going efforts to halt deforestation and bring sustainable palm oil to market.
Plantations owned by Brazil-based Agropalma, a leading producer of palm oil in South America, recently achieved certification against the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standard, bringing the total volume of RSPO certified sustainable palm oil close to 5 million tonnes, which represents around10% of the world's total palm oil production.
"Passing the 1 million hectares mark is a crucial milestone for the growers. But sadly, half of all sustainable palm oil they produce is still not being bought by palm oil users, meaning there's a lot of work to be done by retailers and manufacturers to match the efforts of those growers," said Adam Harrison, Senior Policy Officer for WWF. "It is imperative that all the commitments we have seen from retailers and brands recently are now translated into immediate action, so that producers have an incentive to stay with the certification program."
"Despite good progress from those growers that have been certified there are still many RSPO growers that are dragging their heels on the certification process. A stronger signal is needed from the market so that we can get these producers on the path toward sustainability," Harrison said.
To help balance the supply and demand for sustainable palm oil WWF will issue the second installment of the WWF Palm Oil Buyers' Scorecard in November 2011. The first Scorecard, issued in 2009 has been credited with boosting the market for certified sustainable palm oil.
"The timing is right for WWF to make a new assessment of buyer progress. There have been many encouraging commitments from major retailers and brands since 2009, so this is an opportunity to see what's really been accomplished. The scorecard will recognize leading companies and also highlight where more progress is needed," Harrison added.
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