Olam, Republic of Gabon joint venture gets another sustainable palm oil certification

It is the second of two plantations managed by Olam Palm Gabon to be certified.
It is the second of two plantations managed by Olam Palm Gabon to be certified. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Olam International announced on Monday (Jan 15) that its joint venture with the Republic of Gabon has achieved the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification for the Bilala palm oil mill and concessions in Mouila, Gabon.

This marks the next milestone in the development of sustainable oil palm plantations for Olam Palm Gabon (OPG), the 60-40 joint venture.

It is the second of two plantations managed by OPG to be certified, and covers 15,900 hectares (ha) of planted oil palm, and 19,500 ha of protected high conservation value areas.

The 20,000 ha Awala concession, with 6,800 ha of plantation and mill, became the first new development in Africa to achieve RSPO certification in October 2016. Together, the certified areas total 55,400 ha.

In addition, Olam has two remaining lots comprising 27,300 ha of planted palm and the protection of 36,600 ha of High Conservation Value forest and savannah. Olam said that these are on target to achieve RSPO certification by 2021.

Olam International managing director of Oil Palm and Natural Rubber Ranveer Chauhan said: "Certified palm oil accounts for about 19 per cent of global volumes, with Europe leading the way, and we expect other regions to start following suit."

Separately, the group also reports continued progress on its roadmap for 100 per cent traceability for its third-party supply base and verification by 2020.

As at the end of 2017, close to 1,600 indirect mills have been analysed from 14 suppliers, up from about 1,100 mills at the end of July 2017. The work to assess the risk profile of indirect suppliers' mills - including past and future risks linked to deforestation - is being undertaken by the World Resources Institute and The Proforest Group.

By the end of second quarter 2017, 86 per cent of crude palm oil and palm kernel oil volumes were successfully traced using GPS coordinates, with 100 per cent of derivatives traced.