Towards sustainable palm oil

Palm oil is an essential ingredient in many foods. It’s the most commonly used vegetable oil all over the world and the most efficient oilseed crop per hectare. That’s why demand for palm oil and the associated financing continues to rise steeply. The economic value is substantial, both for multinationals and for small family farms, particularly in South East Asia. However, palm oil production also has a downside. It is also associated with the clearing of tropical rainforests, a loss of biodiversity and violations of employment rights and human rights.

Rabobank is convinced that a sustainable palm oil sector can become the norm. That’s why we are working to make the entire supply chain more sustainable and to achieve future-proof solutions, from plantation to supermarket shelf. Rabobank is also working closely with a variety of partners such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to help deliver step-by-step sustainability improvements in the sector.

Watch this short explainer video about sustainable palm oil:

Rabobank’s commitment to sustainable palm oil:

  • Our sustainability policy is paramount to us and our customers. We don’t accept deforestation, land grabbing or human rights violations.
  • Since 2004 we have been a member and supporter of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The RSPO aims to have the production of palm oil meet demanding social, economic and environmental criteria in order to ensure a sustainable sector.
  • We only provide financing to clients who are members of the RSPO, thereby committing themselves to meeting and reporting on its sustainability requirements. Clients are expected to undergo audits to assess whether they are fulfilling the RSPO’s principles and criteria.
  • We encourage clients to take account of sustainability issues related to palm oil production in their procurement policy.
  • If any controversies arise, we enter into dialogue with the client to encourage improvements. This almost always leads to improvements being made. If not, the credit relationship with the client will be terminated.

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