Indonesia launches sustainable palm oil standard
The country's Vice-Minister of Agriculture Bayu Krisnamurti, said the Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) standard was necessary if importing countries were to decide they would only buy oil with sustainability certification.
"The ISPO will be officially effective as of March 2012 and it is hoped all oil palm plantation companies will have obtained the ISPO certificate by 2014," Krisnamurti was quoted as saying.
He said the ISPO was not very different to Europe's Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) principles, but in closer reference to the regulations and conditions of Indonesia, the story reported.
Association of Indonesia Oil Palm Farmers (Apkasindo) chairman Anizar Simanjuntak welcomed the move, with the hope the country could later decide the price and quality of crude palm oil (CPO) by itself, reported Antara News.
NGO The Rainforest Alliance also has its own Sustainable Agricultural Network (SAN) standard for palm oil, but no companies have yet 'cleared this high bar', which is based on rules that have been successfully applied to the coffee, cocoa, banana and tea industries, among others.
"Several oil palm plantations in Latin America and Indonesia are striving to meet the SAN standard, but it is not at all easy to achieve certification in this demanding system," the NGO said on its website.
The country's Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta Rajasa told Antara News about aims to cut the proportion of palm oil exports in crude form from 60% to 40%.
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