Cargill goes RSPO but keeps smallholders in

Cargill has announced that the palm oil products it supplies to its customers in
Europe, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will be certified by the
RSPO and/or originated from smallholder growers by 2015. This commitment will
be extended across all Cargill's oil and trading businesses to cover 100% of its palm
oil products and all customers worldwide – including China and India – by 2020.

Khor Reports comment:

Cargill includes the smallholder element with the “and/or” flexibility for its sourcing. This seems a tacit acknowledgment that RSPO may have problems including smallholders in its efforts to a significant degree. With Greenpalm certs just bouncing off a meager $1 per unit, it seems hard for smallholders to see monetary compensation for their RSPO certification efforts, unless an attractive program for them is launched soon. The biggest concern we have had with regard to RSPO is its de facto limited inclusion of independent smallholders thus far. We think Cargill’s move is pragmatic and heartening in terms of keeping market access open for these smallholders.