KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 7): The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)’s Independent Smallholder (ISH) Standard was approved by RSPO members at its annual general assembly in Bangkok yesterday.
The new standard is specifically for independent smallholders — with a time frame of three years for certification, RSPO said in a statement.
At the end of this process, independent smallholders who opt for the new certification would be RSPO certified.
It includes the provision of market supports and training to smallholders, as well as education on sustainable farming standards for the oil palm industry.
"This standard allows us to achieve our ambition of being a force for good and a force for growth, driving livelihood improvement for smallholders,” said Proctor & Gamble UK Global Surfactants Business Planner and Palm Sustainability Leader, Girish Deshpande.
RSPO also concluded its 17th Annual Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT17) in the Thai capital this week, where the RSPO Smallholder Trainer Academy (STA) was launched.
STA adopts a “train-the-trainer approach” when teaching smallholders across the world.
RSPO Head of Smallholders Programmes, Ashwin Selvaraj, was reported by The Edge Financial Daily yesterday as saying funding for markets supports under the new proposed smallholder standard, will come from the RSPO Smallholder Support Fund, and that the training under the ISH will include financial literacy and business planning.