The recent suspension of an RSPO grower member over non submission of NPP is unusual in that there are many others in the same position. Will they all come to be reprimanded and suspended too, in order to regularise the NPP situation or is this a showcase to remind all about proper implementation? The company reports no material impact from this suspension.
TFT vs RSPO? RSPO calls for greater collaboration on zero deforestation commitments (05/27/2014) The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) today called for greater collaboration between it and the leading implementer of zero deforestation policies, The Forest Trust (TFT). " TFT very publicly resigned from the RSPO in 2012 over what it perceived as weak criteria for limiting deforestation and peatlands conversion for oil palm plantations. TFT has since brokered a number of "zero deforestation" commitments from major palm oil producers, traders, and buyers, including Neste Oil, Ferrero, Reckitt Benckiser, Wilmar, New Britain Palm Oil, Cerelia, Vandemoortele, Mars, Florin, and Delhaize Group, among others. Those agreements were modeled after policies TFT established with Nestle and Golden-Agri Resources. TFT is also implementing Asia Pulp & Paper's forest conservation policy....," http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0527-rspo-tft.html#o0AGhAfxPfBssMZd.99.
Other topics to look out for:
- financiers set the bar higher, example HSBC; Deutsche Bank sells Bumitama stake reports Friends of the Earth amidst allegations http://www.foei.org/news/deutsche-bank-divests-from-bumitama/.
- Timber: "WWF accuses APRIL of breaking sustainability commitment by logging rainforest in Borneo. (05/23/2014) Environmental group WWF has accused Singapore-based pulp and paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) of breaking its recent conservation commitment by destroying rainforest in Indonesian Borneo. APRIL has denied the charges...."http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0523-april-north-kalimantan.html?n3ws1ttr
Khor Reports comments:
The escalation and new support from the top plantation companies of new programs is starting to play out. It may get a bit rougher for all as the transition to wider and deeper NGO-led standards pushes on. We hear that NGOs may feel quite encouraged to move harder. Also, their remote sensing systems getting in place to pin point company behaviour. There are more company reports on the big companies to verify implementation and what they have done in recent years. Thus, the question is whether the new programs will garner them the 2 year or so breathing space that GAR/ Sinar Mas achieved with NGOs, post boycott. Inter and intra NGO competition is rife and also noted in other sectors including soy.
Another important development is the apparent growing rift (between TFT and RSPO as they duke it out for market share. TFT is apparently offering a non-certification and focused sustainability program. Crucially, there is expected to be overall fewer but higher obligations on hot button issues (source: industry expert interviewed May 2014).
Note: TFT is associated with Greenpeace on palm sustainability issues. RSPO offers a popular certification program for traditional non-fuel usages while ISCC is popular for certification for biofuel usages.