The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has jointly launched the Thailand Sustainable Palm Oil Alliance (TSPOA) with the Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) and other partners.

The aim of the alliance was to create a platform for shared cooperation among stakeholders in the palm oil supply chain, and promote sustainable palm oil in Thailand, the RSPO said on 1 November.

Thailand is the world’s third largest producer of palm oil but RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil only accounted for 2.8% of the country’s total palm oil supply, according to a RSPO press release on 30 May.

As of May 2022, RSPO Thailand oil palm grower membership consisted of 63 groups of small-scale and large-scale farmers with a certified area of ​​​​170,591.81 rai (27,295 ha). In addition, 34 groups representing 1,386 smallholder farmers covering 27,766.83 rai (4,442.7 ha) were expected to achieving certification by the end of this year, the 30 May press release said.

Speaking at the launch of the new alliance on 31 October, RSPO CEO Joseph D’Cruz said it was vital that sustainability standards became embedded across the entire global supply chain.

“In addition to supporting growers, especially smallholders, to adopt the RSPO principles and criteria from the supply side, we must boost the uptake of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) from the demand side, especially in the growing market of Thailand. We must also establish RSPO certification as a default requirement in all business models, government policies, and trade deals,” he said.

Speaking at the launch, TEI director Dr Wicharn Simachaya underlined the importance of the alliance’s collective action.

“The partners in this alliance will have the power to cooperate to promote and increase confidence in sustainable palm oil production.”

Five other partners in the initiative also attended the TEI’s launch: the National Farmers Council; the Palm Oil Crushing Mills Association; the Palm Oil Refinery Association; the Thai Biodiesel Producer Association and the Oleochemical Association.