RTRS smartly moves ahead

RTRS is looking more like a market-oriented certification scheme for soy than its cousin, the RSPO is for palm products. Both certification programs are the brainchild of the WWF. Palm oil and soybean oil are key competitors in the edible oil market.

Pertinent points and early news indicates:

a) RTRS is a simpler certification scheme, with areal percentage certified up to each grower to decide vs. RSPO's mandatory 100% areal certification.
b) The RTRS market-oriented approach shows early results with 90+% uptake vs about 50% at RSPO (current and for forseeable future on RSPO's own forecast); and this points to less resource wastage in over-certification. The RSPO suffers a certificate glut problem.
c) It is notable that early shipments are going to a buyer consortium, which points to some concerted marketing effort at RTRS, which is a contrast to the RSPO experience. 
d) Furthermore, the RSPO and its associates appear to be lobbying for higher tariffs against non-RSPO certified palm oil in some key import markets. They seek official acceptance and promotion of the voluntary standard. Could this make "involuntary" what was touted as "voluntary"? If so, this does not serve the interest of non-RSPO members, which are largely small estates and smallholders / farmers. So far, the RSPO's priority and bias has been to promote the largest corporate growers.
e) Note RTRS's tie-up with a consumer market certification for supply chain and its apparent focus on mass balance in its supply chain, ahead of segregation ie. an effort to quickly get RTRS certified soy to market? At the RSPO, the push has been for segregation with inevitable delay and added cost to reach markets, while book & claim and mass balance are seen as temporary options.

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