2024 China Sustainable Palm Oil Forum Calls for Bold Action on Supply Chain Sustainability

Roundtable On Sustainable Palm Oil
2024-07-10 21:18 818

Annual forum of RSPO Members in China underscored the key role of RSPO Certified sustainable palm oil in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reaffirmed strong partnerships in driving China's sustainable market transformation.

NANJING, China, July 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2024 China Sustainable Palm Oil Forum (8th RSPO China Forum) strongly called for decisive action to enhance inclusivity and sustainability within the palm oil supply chain. Hosted at the Shangri-La Hotel in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, the annual event highlighted the crucial role of RSPO Certified sustainable palm oil in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, introduced new sustainability initiatives, and emphasised the importance of strong partnerships to drive market transformation in China.

Certification award ceremony for new RSPO Members in China
Certification award ceremony for new RSPO Members in China

Co-organised by the China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce and Animal By-products (CFNA) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the forum showcased the sustainability efforts of Chinese enterprises. It attracted significant participation from RSPO Members, government bodies, industry associations, financial institutions, research organisations, NGOs, and certification bodies. Discussions focused on shared responsibility within the palm oil supply chain, urging stakeholders to increase their commitment to sustainable production and trade practices.

Joseph D'Cruz, CEO of RSPO, emphasised the forum's role in raising awareness and promoting  certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) in China. Celebrating RSPO's 20th anniversary, he highlighted the organisation's positive impacts over the past two decades, including s preserving over 300,000 hectares of forests within conservation areas, transitioning nearly five million hectares of palm oil landscapes to sustainable production, and certifying over 20% of total global production. He also stressed the value of local partnerships, including a five-year Memorandum of Understanding with CFNA, and reaffirmed RSPO's support for China's sustainability objectives. D'Cruz remarked, "By enhancing sustainability performance and demanding transparency, we can drive sustainable procurement and consumption of CSPO in China."

CFNA President Cao Derong expressed that "The food and agriculture system is a cornerstone of sustainable development. By adopting sustainable practices in the sourcing and processing of palm oil, China can position itself as a leader in building a global green value chain. Meanwhile, we are committed to strengthening global partnerships to address climate change and promote sustainable agriculture."

A significant highlight of the forum was the introduction of RSPO's new certification, trade, and traceability platform – prisma (Palm Resource Information and Sustainability Management). Designed to enhance trade efficiency and ensure compliance with global regulations, prisma aims to facilitate the adoption of certified sustainable palm oil among RSPO Members and regional market players.

Currently with over 400 RSPO members, China currently consumes approximately half a million tonnes of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) annually. Fang Lifeng, RSPO's Head of China, noted, "Initially led by multinational brands, efforts to promote sustainable palm oil practices in China have significantly evolved. Today, prominent Chinese listed companies and domestic brands are actively engaging in RSPO membership, showcasing their commitment to sustainability and enhancing their ESG performance. "

This year's forum serves as a platform for RSPO members to showcase their sustainability journeys. Building on the member case studies released by the RSPO China office last year, several outstanding RSPO member representatives shared their commitments regarding sustainable palm oil policies, strategies, and targets. They also presented their ongoing sustainable procurement efforts and plans, as well as their market communication initiatives. During the keynote speech, Zhu Chunxian, QA Director at Glico China, stated: "Glico products currently have the highest presence of RSPO Trademark in the domestic market. We hope this initiative can convey the significance of sustainability behind it to consumers, while also driving sustainable development in the industry."

The positive progress and actions demonstrated by these leading Chinese enterprises and supply chain companies clearly indicate that Chinese businesses are sending strong signals of sustainable demand to the market, upstream supply chain, and growers. This proactive approach is instrumental in driving sustainable production at the source. Participants also exchanged views on topics such as China's sustainable palm oil market strategy and its role in promoting global sustainable development.

The forum concluded with a strong call to action for all stakeholders to intensify efforts towards sustainable palm oil adoption. As China solidifies its position as one of the leading actors in the region, the outcomes of the 8th China Forum are poised to resonate globally, influencing sustainability practices across the palm oil industry.

About RSPO:
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is a global partnership to make palm oil sustainable. Formed in 2004, the RSPO is a multi-stakeholder non-profit organisation that unites members from across the palm oil value chain, including oil palm producers, palm oil processors and traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and social or developmental NGOs.

As a partnership for progress and positive impact, the RSPO facilitates global change to make the production and consumption of palm oil sustainable. To inspire change, we communicate the environmental and social benefits. To make progress, we catalyse collaboration. To provide assurance, we set the standards of certification.

The RSPO is registered as an international association in Zurich, Switzerland, with main offices in Malaysia and Indonesia, and offices in China, Colombia, Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States. 

Source: Roundtable On Sustainable Palm Oil