Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil in the world and considered the most important. There is immense demand for the product: Germany alone consumes nearly two million tonnes every year. Around 40% of the global palm oil production is used to make biodiesel, food products such as chocolate or margarine, cosmetics and animal feed.
The skyrocketing demand for palm oil has led to the illegal clearance of vast swathes of rainforest, which will have catastrophic consequences for the environment sooner or later.
In 2011, the World Wildlife Fund launched a campaign to promote the sustainable extraction of palm oil. It then founded the RSPO: the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.
Its members include producers, farmers and traders involved in the extraction of palm oil. OPW Ingredients has been a member of the RSPO since 27 January 2017. To find out more about our membership, click here.
By developing and implementing standards, the organisation aims to ensure the sustainable, controlled cultivation of palm oil in future to protect the environment to the greatest possible extent.
The WWF has laid down the following rules:
Protection of water, soil and air (forests must not be cleared to produce arable land)
Special protection for endangered species living on the palm oil plantations
Compliance with legal rights of use and ownership
Involvement and support of regional smallholders
Prohibition of child labour and provision of educational opportunities for children living on the plantations
The RSPO certificate
This certification system ensures compliance with the principles and criteria of the RSPO. Producers, traders and businesses bindingly undertake to submit quality requirements, documentation and evidence.
Compliance with these regulations shall be monitored and documented by independent, authorised auditors. Palm oil must be traceable from the bought product down to the specific plantation of origin. RSPO-certified palm oil must be separated from non-certified palm oil throughout the entire supply chain. This allows consumers to trace the origin and production of their product precisely and reliably.