THE Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria (POFON) has said that for the nation to aspire to the number one position in world palm oil trade, it has to be seen to develop its oil palm industry on sustainable and globally acceptable principles. And for now, the Round-table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) embodies the requisite principles.
The decision was reached at POFON’s s meeting at Presco Plc at Ajagbodudu in Delta State, recently, where it was the plantation owners also pledged their commitment to the principles and criteria of the RSPO.
According to Fatai A. Afolabi, Executive Secretary, POFON, “the forum has accordingly offered itself as the platform and vehicle for the implementation of the RSPO-Nigeria National Interpretation Working Group that will establish the national standards and guidelines to implementing the RSPO principles and criteria.
This is the first step in a number of activities and processes leading to RSPO certification of palm oil produced in the country.”
The RSPO is a global, multi-stakeholder initiative on sustainable palm oil. Members of RSPO and participants in its activities come from many different backgrounds, including plantation companies, manufacturers and retailers of palm oil products, environmental NGOs and social NGOs and from many countries that produce or use palm oil.
The principal objective of RSPO is “to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil through co-operation within the supply chain and open dialogue between its stakeholders,” Afolabi explained.
The RSPO is an international not-for-profit association founded in April 2004, under the Swiss Law. It is a membership organisation, open to all major players along the supply chain.
The organisation’s official seat is in Zurich, Switzerland. Currently, the secretariat is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
POFON is desirous of implementing the Nigerian National Interpretation of the RSPO Principles and Criteria in order to put Nigeria on the path of sustainable development and global competitiveness in the international palm oil trade.
It would shortly start the sensitisation process by contacting and explaining the RSPO-Nigeria National Interpretation Working Group initiative to stakeholders along the supply chain including growers, millers, processors, distributors, end-users, government, researchers, media and NGOs with a view to obtaining their understanding and statement of intents to participate in the National Interpretation Working Group.
To this effect, the POFON has set to establish the Nigerian National Interpretation Working Group for the interpretation of the RSPO Principles.