Collaborating with WWF to assess our palm oil suppliers

Beginning August 2010, we started a collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to assess progress amongst our Indonesian palm oil suppliers to implement the principles and criteria established by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The assessment, which has now been completed, focused on gauging progress in key areas such as land permitting, environmental practices, conservation, and social and labor practices.

WWF has extensive experience with global companies and supply chains in influencing change in the way global commodities are produced, processed and consumed. WWF supervised the assessment process including the design and selection of local environmental experts for fieldwork and in-person visits to plantations.

WWF assessment

The field reviews by WWF show that all the plantations assessed have made progress on managing concerns around palm production. In particular there is strong awareness around land permitting – all have submitted environmental impact assessments (AMDALs); and all have zero burning policies in place.  The field reviews do show that while there is a commitment to managing High Conservation Value Areas (HCVA), improvements can be made around assessing and managing HCVA, as well as improving understanding of the RSPO criteria.

We believe palm oil should be produced sustainably and we fully support the RSPO process. Cargill wants to play a leading role in working towards sustainable palm oil supply and use through the RSPO, and through our own actions. As such we have committed to build a traceable palm oil supply chain and seek compliance throughout the supply chain relative to RSPO policies.

Our progress

We are already making progress on our commitments to sustainable palm. We have implemented the RSPO Principles & Criteria on our own palm plantations. We have our own policies in place on our own plantations including commitments to not plant on high conservation value forests (HCVF); to not develop new plantations on deep peat land or land that would threaten biodiversity; and a strict no-burn policy for land preparation.

In 2011, 94 percent of the crude palm oil we sourced from Indonesia was from oil palm plantations that are RSPO members. The findings from the WWF assessment will enable us to continue to work with our suppliers to focus on improvements to sustainable practices, to promote RSPO compliance and support progress towards our commitment to supply RSPO certified palm oil products.