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Investors call on all palm oil producers to cease deforestation, development on peat lands, and violations of human rights

LONDON, 4 June 2014 – the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is holding a meeting concerning the responsibilities and challenge to increase certified sustainable palm oil production. So far the certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) production worldwide has risen to 16%, but only 52% of the CSPO is bought by the industries. The ultimate goal of the RSPO is to raise this number to 100%, which means a tremendous increase in the CSPO production, and therefore also a great decrease in deforestation, development on peat lands and human rights violations.

The RSPO is a coalition of signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) , who once more calls for stronger commitments by palm oil producers concerning their practices. PRI has a Sustainable Palm Oil Investor Working Group (IWG), which consists of 28 member organizations and has assets of approximately US$2.8 trillion. IWG was established in 2010 and has grown ever since. Its main focus is the support of the development of sustainable practices in the palm oil industry by encouraging the buyers of palm oil to only purchase Certified Sustainable Palm Oil, and by supporting Palm Oil suppliers to fulfill the established criteria of the RESPO.

Furthermore the IWG calls on all palm oil producers to make strong public commitments to cease deforestation, development on peat lands, and violations of human rights. In the eyes of the IWG the leaders in this area, and role models so to speak, are major producers including Wilmar International and Golden-Agri Resources, who have made strong commitments and changed their policies accordingly.

Mark Mills, Partner at Generation Investment Management and chairman of the IWG said “The significant growth and accompanying globalization of the palm oil industry means that producers must once and for all put aside the slash and burn mentality of their early years. They must now adhere to environmental, social and governance practices which will ensure their license to operate and safeguard the capital provided by the industry’s increasingly global investors. Commitments such as those made by Wilmar provide a positive signal and direction for the rest of the industry. However these statements by no means replace the need for adherence to the RSPO principles and criteria”.

More information about RESPO