The demand for green palm oil in India and China is increasing with companies such as Godrej Industries buying sustainable palm oil certificates, according to Swiss-based association RSPO.

Sustainable palm oil certificates, endorsed by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and available since 2008, provide assurance that valuable tropical forests have not been cleared and that environmental and social safeguards have been met during the production of palm oil.

“India and China are steadily progressing in their commitment towards certified sustainable palm oil,” RSPO said in a statement.

The two countries are becoming aware of their increasing responsibility to ensure that procurement of palm oil comes from responsible sources and are not linked to rainforest and peat land destruction, resulting in climate change, RSPO Secretary-General Darrel Webber said.

Although India and China are the world’s top two importers of palm oil with a combined volume of 13.1 million tonnes last year, they hardly buy green palm oil. However, some companies have started supporting production of green palm oil through the purchase of certificates.

Noting that the two Asian giants have the propensity to influence advancement of sustainable palm oil, RSPO said Godrej Industries has expressed its intent to procure certified sustainable palm oil and to study procedures for certifying domestically produced palm oil.

Besides Godrej Industries, Adani Wilmar, Kamani Oil Industries, VVF Ltd and Ruchi Soya have become members of RSPO to support production of green palm oil.

US-based Walmart and Cargill have also announced their plans to supply certified sustainable palm oil to consumers in the coming years, the RSPO said.

The RSPO is a non-profit association that represents the stakeholders of the palm oil industry to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.

(This article was published on October 4, 2012)
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