06/10/04 JAKARTA (Dow Jones)--Major palm oil players and non-governmentalorganizations plan to produce standards and criteria for a sustainablepalm oil industry within a year, the Roundtable On Sustainable Palm Oil,or RSPO, said Wednesday.
Teoh Cheng Hai, secretary general of the RSPO, said as the standards andcriteria cover a broad range of issues, it will take longer to producethem.
"We want to maintain a transparent process that includes all participants.When it (the standards and criteria) are finished, everybody can agree andcomply with them," Teoh said in a press conference.
Mathias Diemer of the Worldwide Fund for Nature, or WWF, said the criteriawill include legal compliance, technical standards, pest control,biodiversity, health and safety, andsupport for the local community.
The RSPO ended its second meeting in Jakarta Wednesday. However, it hasyet to decide when and where the third meeting will take place next year.
The RSPO is an association founded in April this year which groups majorplayers in the palm oil supply chain, including oil palm growers,processors, traders, banks, retailers and environmental NGOs.
The RSPO aims to promote sustainable, environmentally friendly developmentof the palm oil industry, as the industry has been increasingly linked todeforestation and loss of biodiversity.
Founding members of the RSPO include Aarhus United UK Ltd., Unilever NV(UN), Karlshamns AB (KAB.SK), the WWF and the Malaysian Palm OilAssociation.