New Certification Models: POIG and RSPO Next

New Certification Models: POIG and RSPO Next


Recent efforts made by civil society organizations devoted to increasing the level of transparency and corporate accountability of agricultural companies around the world are clear evidence of the maturity and robustness resulting from those big leaps that have taken place in the sector, which are then put in practice via POIG and RSPO Next standards for oil palm cultivation. There is a conceptual similarity: an initial standard of compliance, followed by operational and governance changes, which is then met by the industry as a whole, while the period of knowledge elapses and becomes a market standard. At the moment the companies are committed to the standard, the bar rises somewhat with the purpose of driving the industry towards an ideal that is under continuous improvement.

With this in mind, in 2014, DAABON together with other leading companies of the palm oil sector and social and environmental NGOs, proposed a permanent innovation space in order to show the world successes and failures in the implementation of new policies, procedures and interactions in the field of sustainability that may arise from social responsibility dynamics. POIG (Palm Oil Innovation Group) is a group that contributes with knowledge and a receiver of procedures that stem from scientifically advanced discussions. In 2016 the RSPO Board of Governors approved an additional standard called RSPO Next, using the social and environmental commitment of producers, investors and processors, that is reached after a consensus that followed intense debate. It is worth noting that it is at this point where the difference lies in terms of approach: the first being an innovation collective for the adoption of best practices and the second consisting of agreed upon proposals that are gathered by way of the industry´s experience.

However, it must be emphasized that even though POIG is a verifiable proposal, it always follows an RSPO certification given that the commitment is to strengthen the standard fully adopted by the industry. These voluntary opportunities do not exclusively assess per se agricultural activity, but the overall business system. The aim is to also make visible those operations that have an incidence to a lesser extent in the corporate ecosystem. After receiving the POIG verification in 2012 we have engaged in a continuous improvement process and it was with great pride that we received the first RSPO Next audit in January for all of our operations, those of independent parties and small producers, with the purpose of giving the best of the DAABON Family to households worldwide.