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RSPO: Guarantee for Stakeholders in Guatemala and Honduras Conducted What It Needed

Doc. InfoSAWIT
RSPO: Guarantee for Stakeholders in Guatemala and Honduras Conducted What It Needed

InfoSAWIT, KUALA LUMPUR - Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) responded the latest report “In The Shadow of Palm Oil” by Christian Initiative Romero (CIR) and complaint published by Foodwatch and European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) that involved some RSPO members, including NaturAceites, certified smallholders’ members. RSPO did note the escalating concern among stakeholders in the whole supply chain.

RSPO Secretariat guaranteed the interested parties that they did what it needed to review the allegation written in the reports in association with audit quality and RSPO guarantee process, and that RSPO Secretariat would be in cooperation with the members involved to fully get understandings about the situation.

As quoted from the official page of RSPO, RSPO certification process is one of some system implemented to confirm that the members certified by RSPO should obey every standard. To confirm RSPO standard credibility, independent auditors and third parties would play their significant roles in the certification. It means, to prevent conflict of interests, the allocation or RSPO certification revocation would not be conducted by RSPO but independent certification board. Survey institutions that offered RSPO certification services should be accredited by independent Assurance Body, Assurance Services International (ASI). The independent check and balance system were developed to confirm that certification process would remain fair and not partisanship.

Certification board that conducted RSPO audit in 2023 which was written on the report, was no longer accredited to conduct audit based on Principles and Criteria RSPO 2018 (P&C RSPO 2018) because of voluntary reduction on its accreditation by ASI in August 2023. NaturAceites informed RSPO Secretariat that they recruited other certification boards (Control Union) and got the initiative to accelerate annual audit for the locations involved.

RSPO is committed to transparency and accountability. The significant part of the objective process is independent complaint panel that consists of advance individuals from stakeholders’ groups (including the civil). RSPO complaint panel can investigate if the complaint was proposed and accepted in RSPO complaint system. Until now, there was no complaint to RSPO in association with the allegation in Guatemala or Honduras that the report mentioned.

RSPO Secretariat also has good contact with ASI to make sure that there would be right independent monitoring on audit process. RSPO invited the related parties to deliver official complaint to RSPO complaint system.

RSPO keeps monitoring the case closely with the goal – to escalate guarantee process if needed and to confirm that palm oil products were produced responsibly and sustainably based on RSPO standards. (T2)