EARTH WIRE -- 527 palm oil companies apply for ISPO certificate

EARTH WIRE -- 527 palm oil companies apply for ISPO certificate

Farmers stockpile fresh fruit palm oil bunches in smallholder palm oil plantations in Drien Leukiet Village, Kuala Batee, Aceh Barat Daya District, Aceh Province. (ANTARA/Suprian)

We expect all palm oil companies in Indonesia at least have an ISPO certificate as by 2020 ..."
Palembang (ANTARA News) - A total of 527 palm oil companies are currently applying for an Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certificate in 2017 to improve the competitiveness of Indonesian products in the international market.

ISPO Auditor Head Heri Moerdiono said here on Tuesday that the awareness of the companies to get the certificate was underpinned by the demands from importing countries that Indonesias palm oil products are created in an environmentally friendly manner.

"Currently, 226 companies already had ISPO certificate, while 527 companies are proposing to obtain the certificate. Of the total 527 submissions, only 376 applications of the companies are being processed. In future, the number of requests to obtain the certificate are expected to increase as the companys awareness of the importance of the certificate will improve," Moerdiono said after speaking in the workshop on Capacity Building of Oil Palm Plantation with Sustainable Business Practices.

He said that Indonesian government through the ISPO certification agency continues to increase the number of the certificate ownership as only about 30 percent of a total of more than 1,000 oil palm companies in Indonesia have had the certificate.

As the worlds largest crude palm oil (CPO) producer with a production of 33.5 million tons in 2016, Indonesia is keen to maintain the sustainability of oil palm plantation and industry sectors as those fields are expected to grow rapidly in the future along with the increase of world vegetable oil demand.

He explained that through the ISPO certificate, Indonesia showed a firm commitment to greenhouse gas reduction, and a concern for environmental conservation by implementing a checklist covering the land legality, appropriate labor utilization, sustainable use of the environment, and others.

Unlike Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certificate from an institute established by buyers, ISPO certificate is a mandatory from the Indonesian government so that an Indonesias palm oil company without having an ownership of the certificate will be subject to sanctions including revocation of business license, by recommending to the local government.

"We expect all palm oil companies in Indonesia at least have an ISPO certificate as by 2020, it would be the absolute requirement of European countries to send palm oil products to the region," he remarked.

Although Indonesias palm oil exports to European countries amounted to only 4 to 5 percent, and more exports to India, China and the Middle East region, Moerdiono said the European countriess requirement could not be underestimated as the CPO products can not be separated from environmental issues.

(Reported by Dolly Rosana/Uu.M052/INE/KR-BSR/O001)