ISPO certification – the way to sustainable palm oil in Indonesia
Palm oil is an essential contributor to the Indonesian economy and rural livelihoods in particular. But it has also faced increasing international scrutiny over its sustainability. In 2009, the Indonesian government created a national sustainability platform called Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO). Since then ISPO certification has been mandatory for palm oil mills, estates and suppliers in the country.
All GAR/SMART’s mills and estates are currently being ISPO certified with 28 concessions receiving ISPO certificates to date.
Two senior representatives from GAR/SMART receiving ISPO certificates from the Indonesian Government.
ISPO certification at a glance
ISPO has a dual function. It aims to improve Indonesian palm oil’s global competitiveness through a set of government directives and regulations. Secondly, it sets national standards for sustainability practices of Indonesian palm oil companies.
ISPO covers 100 stringent central and regional government regulations. These range from environmental management, labour practices, and legality aspects to health and safety and best practices in plantation management.
The ISPO Commission is led by the Director General of Plantation, Ministry of Agriculture, and involves senior officials from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Ministry of Manpower, National Land Agency and economic agencies under the auspices of the Coordinating Ministry of Economy. The Commission issues ISPO certificates to Indonesian companies that pass all of the ISPO requirements.
The process of obtaining ISPO certificates carried out by GAR/SMART
The Government of Indonesia is currently holding discussions with GAR/SMART and other palm oil stakeholders on how to strengthen ISPO’s certification process and ISPO as an institution. They are also discussing the evolution of the ISPO Commission as an independent institution and a presidential decree on this is likely to be issued soon.
Moving forward, the GOI is planning to adopt international best practices and will look at increasing the visibility of ISPO globally through a series of government-to-government talks to promote awareness and acceptance of ISPO.
GAR/SMART suppliers urged to join dialogue on ISPO
We’ll be talking further about the role and importance of ISPO for sustainable palm oil production in Indonesia in our SMART SEED forum. The event is part of our ongoing engagement with suppliers as we seek to help them adopt sustainable practices. Suppliers will be able to share challenges faced, lessons learnt and best practices in the ISPO certification process at Santika Hotel, Medan, on 21 September 2016.
All interested palm oil companies (estates and mills), FFB brokers and smallholders are encouraged to attend and meet the ISPO Commission and members of Asosiasi Lembaga Sertifikasi Indonesia (The Indonesian Association of Appointed Certification Bodies) at the forum.
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