To ensure the credibility of palm oil sustainability claims, all RSPO members that take legal ownership and produce or handle RSPO-certified sustainable oil palm products need to be RSPO certified. At the heart of this process are the RSPO Principles & Criteria.
There is in an ever-urgent need and growing global concern that commodities are produced without causing harm to the environment or society. RSPO certification is an assurance to the customer that the standard of palm oil production is sustainable.
Palm oil producers are certified through strict verification of the production process to the stringent RSPO Principles & Criteria for Sustainable Palm Oil Production by accredited Certifying Bodies, and can be withdrawn at any time in case of infringement of the rules and standards. All organizations in the supply chain that use RSPO certified sustainable oil products are audited to prevent overselling and mixing palm oil with conventional (or non-sustainable) oil palm products. These organizations can claim the use of RSPO certified sustainable oil palm products “on pack” by using the RSPO Trademark.
RSPO Principles and Criteria are developed and revised every five years. The standards setting process is done following best practices as stipulated by ISEAL. The process of revision of the standards will follow the Standard Operation Procedures for Standards Setting (2014) which undergoes several rigorous steps, especially stakeholder consultations. Similar process is also undertaken for all RSPO generic documents under the RSPO Certification scheme, including the development and revision of National Interpretation. The development of National Interpretations is currently following processes stipulated in the RSPO Certification System document (2007). New elements of the Standard Operation Procedures for Standards Setting (2014) will be incorporated into the revised RSPO Certification System document.
No public claims relating to compliance with the RSPO Principles and Criteria can be made without third-party verification and certification by an independent, accredited Certification Body. The Accreditation Body will certify sustainable palm oil production, as stated in the RSPO Certification Systems. Growers will be assessed for certification once every 5 years, and if certified, will be annually assessed for continued compliance (the cost of audits will be borne by the producer who seeks RSPO certification).
After 5 years the main assessment will be repeated. The objective of these detailed requirements is to ensure that RSPO assessments are carried out with objectivity and consistency, together with the required levels of technical rigour and stakeholder credibility.
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