Indonesia’s sustainable palm oil to hit maximum sales in 2014

palm oil-CIFOR flickrIndonesia is the world’s second largest user of palm oil after India. (Image source: CIFOR/Flickr)Sales of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) are expected to hit a record high in Indonesia this year due to larger purchase commitments from main buyer countries, according to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)

The group promotes the production and use of sustainable palm oil.

In Q1 2014, CSPO sales rose 48.7 per cent to 506,586 metric tonnes — a new high on a quarterly basis, according to RSPO.

Darrel Webber, secretary-general of RSPO, said that the group expected the upward sales trend seen in January-March to continue throughout the year.

“The significant increase in 2014 will mainly be driven by the food labelling regulation in Europe and national commitments from buyers,” he said.

“The Indonesian market is different from the European market, where there are demands for end products made from sustainable palm oil. Because such demand is still absent here, we need to introduce some consumer products bearing the RSPO logo,” Desi Kusumadewi, director of RSPO, added.

The European Union implemented this year a food labelling rule that requires food manufacturers to specify vegetable oils, including palm oil, they use in their food products.

Foodstuff containing sustainably produced palm oil will gain a competitive edge in the 28-member market over similar products made with uncertified palm oil.

Many countries in Europe namely France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as the US, have conveyed their commitment to endorsing palm oil products certified by the RSPO.

Webber further said that the positive outlook for 2014 might also persist throughout next year when big multinational corporations such as Unilever, P&G and Nestle would only use CSPO in their entire supply chain.

CSPO by RSPO growers reaches 9.7mn metric tonnes each year, representing almost 16 per cent of global palm oil output. The volume is generated by 1.97mn hectares of certified production area worldwide.

Since 2012, Indonesia has overtaken Malaysia to become the biggest supplier of CSPO and now contributes around 47.85 per cent of CSPO recognised under the RSPO scheme.

Its certified plantation areas have risen from covering less than 100,000ha in 2009 to more than one million hectares in 2013.

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