On the 10th of May 2016, the PanEco Foundation submitted its letter of resignation to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The decision to leave was based on multiple underlying reasons, with the most recent being the passage of a resolution that we feel forces members to blindly promote the RSPO and promote to the public as providing a perfect service. Whereas the reality is that there are many problems with the RSPO, both in terms of members being in serious breach its guiding, foundational documents – as evidenced by the many cases in the RSPO Complaints System; as well as numerous published reports that clearly document a number of serious problems with the administration and internal workings of the organisation.
Given these points, we cannot confidently and in good conscience promote RSPO certified palm oil as being a sustainable product for all to support. Furthermore, with the aforementioned Resolution we are also no longer permitted to comment that a reduction in overall consumption of palm oil is a worthy pursuit. It is for these and many other reasons that we resigned our membership from the RSPO.
Nevertheless, notwithstanding our position on the RSPO per se, we remain committed and dedicated to promoting the issue of sustainable development, be that through oil palm or any other commodity. That the RSPO exists and has garnered the attention it has is evidence the world does indeed want responsibly produced and sourced products. At the same time, however, the world also looks to the social and environmental NGOs for information and advice, facts and evidence, on such matters, including on who is sincere and trustworthy and should be supported, and who is not.
To read more about about this decision, please see the following article published on Mongabay.com: