GreenPalm offers small businesses opportunity to support sustainable palm oil production
Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the globe are being given the chance to support the production of sustainable palm oil thanks to a new membership level being offered by certificate trading platform GreenPalm.
The global demand for palm oil continues unabated and as that demand increases – particularly in countries such as China, India and Indonesia - the need to increase support for a sustainable product also grows.
However as economic conditions remain difficult across much of the current support base, with European countries predicted to contract by an estimated 0.3 per cent, supply chain option GreenPalm have opened the doors to SMEs who may wish to support RSPO certified growers.
Simon Chrismas, Business Development Executive for GreenPalm, explains why this new level of membership is so important. “SMEs account for an average of 50 per cent of GDP in high-income countries,” said Simon. “In the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries around 75 per cent of the formal workforce are employed by SMEs and many of these businesses will use palm oil in one form or another.
“The focus for sustainable palm oil has to be creating the critical mass needed on the ground to allow segregated palm oil to flow more easily. At the same time we must bridge the gap between supply and demand, currently uptake sits at 54 per cent,” he stressed. "We have therefore decided to offer a new level of membership designed specifically for SMEs.”
The new membership package will allow smaller users of palm to trade up to 25 certificates per year on both palm and palm kernel markets – 25 certificates are equivalent to 25 metric tonnes of physical palm - at a reduced one-off membership fee of US$250 (the standard membership fee is US$500).
Simon Chrismas continued: “This move is designed to make it even more cost-effective for the SME sector to support sustainable palm oil, and this can only help towards the ultimate goal of sustainable palm oil being the norm.
“At this stage, we need to be as inclusive as possible to allow that growth to continue, all sales of RSPO certified palm help towards that critical mass. Let’s consider for example the thousands of small soap-making businesses; is it currently realistic for them to go out in the market and source segregated material, become supply chain certified and submit to audits?
“GreenPalm remains the most efficient way to get support directly to RSPO certified plantations, for the smallest users of palm, palm kernel or derivatives and fractions. Often GreenPalm is seen as the first step for companies along their sustainable palm oil journey, but let’s not forget for many, it remains the only option. We hope this reduced membership fee will start other companies along their own journey.”
GreenPalm has also created a quick guide for companies within the SME sector, explaining what being a member of the RSPO means and what the requirements of the various supply chain are.
GreenPalm enables retailers and manufacturers to support the sustainable production of palm oil by buying certificates online from producers whose practices meet stringent criteria set out by the RSPO. Producers receive a premium for each tonne of oil produced sustainably, whether or not it is exported, so even the smallest-scale domestic producers have an incentive to work sustainably.
In addition to GreenPalm, the other approved methods companies can use in the support of RSPO certified production are through the purchase of segregated sustainable materials, and via mass balance.
GreenPalm was established in 2006 to help tackle the environmental and social problems linked with palm oil production in South-East Asia. Since the first certificate trade in September 2008, GreenPalm has to date traded in excess of 4.7 million certificates, accounting for 70-75 per cent of all RSPO sales since 2008.