The certificate on the palm oil waste product has been traded between Malaysian Keresa Plantations and Dutch dairy cooperative, CONO Kaasmakers - both members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
“Commitment to sustainability across the supply chain”
CONO Kaasmakers represents 500 affiliated dairy farmers and produces Beemster cheese. The company uses PKE - the by-product from the extraction of oil from the kernel of the palm seeds – as a nutritional supplement to the grass fed to their herds.
Eric Hulst, general director of CONO Kaasmakers, commented: “We are building the most sustainable cheese dairy in The Netherlands. For us it is also very important to take responsibility for the feed ingredients that our farmers use. When doing this, we take account of the livelihood and environmental aspects of the producers involved, as in the case of the Malaysian farmers providing our PKE.”
Keresa Plantations owns 6000-hectares land for its oil palm plantation and mill. The two companies were bought together by NGO Solidaridad which focuses on creating sustainable supply chains across many agricultural crops including palm.
Marieke Leegwater, palm oil programme manager at Solidaridad said: “The purchase of certificates by collaboration between Keresa and CONO illustrates perfectly how commitment to sustainability across the supply chain can be achieved.”
“It allows a direct reward for farmers and millers producing sustainable products, in cases where the set- up of physical supply chains is still difficult. Where CONO leads, we believe, others will follow. There are many organisations within the animal feed sector that have shown an interest in making such a commitment and we hope to see some real momentum in this area over the next few months,” Leegwater said.
Does it really mean sustainability?
The announcement comes just weeks after the publication of the Rainforest Action Network’s 40-page report which claimed that food giants who support “weak” and “diluted” RSPO standards and buy GreenPalm certificates are kidding themselves if they think this will save rainforests.
Producers certified by the RSPO receive one GreenPalm certificate for each tonne of oil produced in compliance with RSPO rules. The GreenPalm (Book & Claim) programme then offers certificates for sale online, whereby manufacturers can bid for and buy certificates in order to off-set an equivalent amount of palm oil or palm kernel oil used in their products.
GreenPalm say that certified growers have received over $40m through GreenPalm’s trading platform so far.