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Cargill gets palm oil sustainability certification

By Lorraine Heller , 20-Aug-2010

A Cargill palm oil plantation in Indonesia has received a sustainability mark, after the smallholder scheme obtained an RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certification.

The firm said its plantation in Hindoli, South Sumatra, is the world's first smallholder scheme to become certified under the RSPO's Smallholder Principles & Criteria.

Formed in 2004, RSPO is a non-profit group that aims to promote sustainable oil palm products and develop global standards for palm oil. With this goal, it brings together stakeholders from seven sectors of the palm oil industry: producers, processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation NGOs and social or developmental NGOs.

Cargill said the RSPO certification demonstrates its efforts to lead the palm oil industry towards sustainable palm production.

“Adoption of responsible and sustainable practices by smallholders will lead to rising rural incomes as demand for certified sustainable palm oil continues to grow," said Angeline Ooi, CEO of Cargill's oil palm joint venture company Cargill Tropical Palm Holdings Pte.

Palm plantations and refineries

Cargill owns and operates two palm plantations in Indonesia as well as 12 palm oil refineries around the world. These purchase, refine, process, and market palm oil products from both its own and other plantations.

The firm said its PT. Hindoli's crush mills in South Sumatra process fresh fruit bunches from its owned oil palm estates and the fruit bunches it purchases from the smallholders' scheme.

The smallholders' scheme at Cargill plantation consists of 8,800 smallholders organized in 17 cooperatives with 17,594 hectares planted with oil palm.

Cargill said its owned palm estates at PT. Hindoli received RSPO certification in 2009. It is currently “working towards” getting RSPO certification for its other palm plantations, PT. Harapan Sawit Lestari and PT Indo Sawit Kekal. Its European and Malaysian refineries also have received approval to offer RSPO products.

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