Palm oil on fast-track vs. others

The Star reports, October 11, 2011, "Demand for certified sustainable palm oil surges 70%":
RSPO president Jan Kees Vis said in a statement that “the current number sparks hopes that a breakthrough is near.”“Historically, there has always been a delay in market take-up versus production increase, as buyers of large companies have to commit as long as a year in advance to buy raw materials,” he said. “They will only sign on to what they are sure they can actually purchase from the market in the future,” he added. Secretary-general Darrel Webber also noted that “a significant number of retailers, consumer goods manufacturers, processors and traders have committed to 100% CSPO by 2015.”..........

Khor Reports comment:
a) The increase in market off-take to 70% from its recent plateau at 50% will surely be welcomed by producers of CSPO. Perhaps buyers have been reacting to the recent flap at RSPO: the withdrawal of GAPKI and the call associated with MPOA for a 3-year moratorium on certi
fication (but with no corporate reactions yet).
b) Sometime ago, Unilever said that they accounted for some 50% of CSPO purchases. As the lead product manufacturer in RSPO, perhaps Unilever stepped up its buying recently? This company is one of the key drivers of the agriculture sustainability sourcing via the WWF-driven 'roundtables schemes'.
c) Let's take a quick look at Unilever's commitments on sourcing sustainable inputs. The graphic below shows that palm oil is on the fast-track with a 'by 2015' target, while other competing oils will be sustainably sourced only by 2020. Moreover, news reports say that Unilever seeks to replace palm oil in its Dove soap and lotions within a few years. In this regard, palm oil has been selected as the oil most in urgent need of sustainable requirements (and some replacement).
d) The palm oil fast-track by buyers has only been exceeded by the fast-track that growers have taken in providing RSPO CSPO to the market. With the recent sharp rise in CSPO, it appears that palm oil is some 7-9 years ahead of its competitor oils - soybean oil, rapeseed oil and sunflower oil.
e) This assumes that many manufacturers also use Unilever's timeframe and that the other oil growers take a more moderate approach e.g. the more business-friendly RTRS / soy roundtable allows for partial certification while RSPO requires rapid or 'challenging' timeframe for 100% certification.