Colombian Daabon Receives World-First Award for Sustainable Palm Oil

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25 Apr 2017 --- Colombian-based Daabon Group has been awarded for its pioneering approach to sourcing sustainable palm oil in Latin America by becoming the world’s first oil palm grower to receive certification from industry body – The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil – that shows the company has exceeded global standards.

The issue of sustainable palm oil is becoming increasing significant in world markets as consumers and industry want to work with credible and ethically sourced ingredients. The palm oil industry has more than its fair share of controversies, often associated with deforestation and the subsequent burden on the environment and endangered animal species, but Daabon is one company trailblazing in the sector and really pushing forward with its policies relating to sustainable palm oil practices.

And this milestone has been recognized by trade body, RSPO, which awarded Daabon with its NEXT certification, a voluntary add-on module engaging RSPO member companies to exceed the RSPO’s internationally recognized sustainability standard. RSPO NEXT was developed in response to the increased market commitments for no deforestation, no development on peat, no fires, and no human rights violations.

A comprehensive audit was carried out at Daabon over six days. Dabbon’s four palm oil estates in Northern Colombia were reviewed as well as 122 smallholder farms who supply the mill. 

Click to EnlargeDaabon group’s oil palm plantation of around 9,950 hectares, has been certified according to RSPO Principles and Criteria since 2010, producing “Identity Preserved” sustainable palm oil since then. Daabon commenced its additional RSPO NEXT auditing process in January 2017 by third party, independent, certification body, Control Union Certifications.

“This achievement reconfirms Daabon’s commitment to sustainability and RSPO. We are especially proud to be the first group globally, together with our 122 small farmers, to show that RSPO NEXT Certification is challenging, but doable, also for smallholders,” says Manuel Julian Dávila, Daabon's CEO.

What does being awarded RSPO NEXT mean?
RSPO NEXT is a voluntary effort that engages with RSPO member companies that have met the current requirements and guidance of the RSPO Principles and Criteria and in addition, through their voluntary policies and actions have exceeded them. RSPO Next has been designed to allow credible third party verification of those actions. Going beyond policy statements RSPO NEXT provides assurance that only independent, third party and accredited on the ground verification, done in a standardized way, can bring.

Click to EnlargeThe components of RSPO NEXT fall into the following categories: No Deforestation, no Fire, no planting on peat, reduction of GHGs, respect for human rights and transparency and are applicable at an organization wide level, including investments, joint ventures and in the organization’s wider supply base.

Within each category there are indicators that are audited for compliance by an accredited RSPO Certification Body (CB). RSPO NEXT applies to the practices on the ground not only of the RSPO Certified operations but additionally sets up requirements regarding suppliers of raw material, regardless of the path of delivery of that supply. Guidelines are being developed that stress significant participation in the core RSPO P&C’s across an entire organization with some activities contingent on the requirement of commensurate effort via uptake from supply chain members.
Datuk Darrel Webber, CEO of RSPO, congratulated Daabon Group for achieving this milestone. 

“It is a demonstration of the great momentum we are seeing from RSPO members in the Latin American palm oil market, where output of certified sustainable palm oil is growing.”

Supun Nigamuni, Program Manager RSPO at Control Union Certifications, said: “Control Union strive to help our customers demonstrate their sustainability credentials through the quality and integrity of third party certification. We are glad to have had the opportunity to do this at yet a higher level via RSPO NEXT certification.”

Last month, FoodIngredientsFirst featured a detailed report on sustainability targets and progress in the palm oil space. You can read it here!  

By Gaynor Selby

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