Sustainable palm oil certifier publishes new standards, but critics fear abuses will continue

Author: Emma Howard, Guardian (UK), Published on: 9 February 2016

"Critics fear RSPO's stricter palm oil standards will create two-tier system", 9 Feb 2016

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) published the RSPO Next standards…following rising pressure from industry and campaigners…The spread of plantations used to produce palm oil…has largely been blamed for last year’s forest fires that engulfed vast areas of Indonesia. The resultant haze…is also thought to be behind up to half a million reported respiratory infections…The RSPO has now responded with…standards that ban planting on peatland…and require companies to implement fire prevention policies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, pay employees a living wage and commit to zero deforestation…RSPO Next is, however, voluntary…Andrew Jenkins, sustainability manager at Boots…fears RSPO Next will create a two-tier system that is inaccessible to smaller companies…RSPO should concentrate on improving adherence to existing standards…Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) claimed that companies auditing RSPO certified plantations were failing to identify violations…leading to deforestation, human trafficking and intimidation of environmentalists…The RSPO says it has thrown out two companies accused of malpractice…[Also refers to Danone and Ferrero.]

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Related companies: Alliance Boots (part of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) Danone Ferrero Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR)