The Alliance hails the progress of the RSPO as it fortifies its commitments in support of zero deforestation and human rights through RSPO Next
The RSPO, the globally recognised certification body for sustainable palm oil, is introducing “RSPO Next” as a voluntary and more rigorous add-on to its existing Principles & Criteria (P&C).
To be eligible for RSPO Next, growers must commit to implementing the following policies across all of their plantations:
- No deforestation: Farmers are only allowed to develop palm oil plantations in areas where vegetation and soil contain low stocks of carbon;
- No planting on peatland: Peatland development is banned (the RSPO P&C only recommend that growers avoid planting on peatland);
- No fire: In addition to the existing ban on using fire to clear land (already stipulated by the RSPO P&C), growers must have plans and procedures to prevent, monitor and combat fire on plantations and around their farms;
- Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions: RSPO NEXT requires palm oil growers to monitor, manage and reduce GHG emissions across their entire operations (including in factories and other facilities) and to publicly report their progress;
- Respect for smallholders’ and workers’ rights: RSPO Next requires that, if there is no national definition of a Decent Living Wage in a given country, palm oil growers must engage with their workers to mutually agree upon terms. It also requires growers to develop outreach programmes to support and educate smallholders concerning sustainability;
- The use of Paraquat, a pesticide already banned in the European Union, is prohibited;
- Enhanced transparency and traceability: Palm oil needs to be traceable to the plantation where it was produced.
These advanced criteria are independently verified by accredited certification bodies.
For the French Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil, “This is a remarkable achievement on the part of the RSPO, proving that the organisation heard our many requests for improvements in its scope of application, and we heartily congratulate all involved. We now call upon the RSPO to make the RSPO NEXT criteria a mandatory part of the Principles and Criteria, not limiting their application to the simple principle of voluntary cooperation.”