The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a multi-stakeholder Kuala Lumpur-based organization that aims to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil, reaffirmed that keeping in line with the overall sustainable development goals for 2015, Indian majors and RSPO members have demonstrated affirmative inclination and measures forward.
India’s palm oil footprint stands at approximately 2 million hectares. RSPO revealed that the Indian players are also planning to review their procurement policies in line with the global trends and forecast for palm oil imports.
India is the largest consumer and importer of palm oil in the world today with more than 90% of palm oil is being used as cooking oil in the country, and the rest is used in the processed food and items like soaps, chocolate, ice-cream, cosmetics and cleaning agent, etc. Being the largest source of edible oil globally, palm oil today features high on environment related agendas across the globe.
HUL (Hindustan Unilever) is one of the main players in the Indian market so far to procure certificates from GreenPalm’s Book & Claim system, aligned with its overall vision of Unilever, a long term committed member of the RSPO.
Another key palm oil buyer in the market, Godrej Industries Limited, also has offered to support certified sustainable palm oil in the near future.
Adding to the momentum, international RSPO members with Indian footprints like Cargill & Wal-Mart have also shown their commitments with corporate sustainability policies.
Palm oil products supplied to Cargill customers in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will be RSPO certified by 2015. This commitment will be extended to India & China by 2020.
WWF-India has been playing a large part in pushing policy for sustainable palm oil at one level and promoting the RSPO principles amongst key industry players here in India.