Rabobank: Cooperation and dialogue to make the palm oil supply chain sustainable

Reaction to the Final Statement by the NCP (OECD)

The National Contact Point (NCP) for the OECD Guidelines recently published its Final Statement on the dialogue it facilitated last year between Rabobank and Friends of the Earth Netherlands (Milieudefensie) concerning making the palm oil supply chain sustainable. The Final Statement is a balanced representation of this dialogue and Rabobank concurs with it fully. Rabobank wholeheartedly accepts the NCP’s recommendations.

Rabobank remains dedicated to bringing about cooperation with companies and to seeking dialogue with stakeholders. The NCP states its appreciation for this approach in its Final Statement.
Rabobank will furthermore continue to seek dialogue with Friends of the Earth Netherlands (Milieudefensie), even though Friends of the Earth Netherlands appears to be turning its back on the palm oil sector.

‘It is specifically the dialogue with stakeholders and business clients in the palm oil supply chain that is leading to a step-by-step movement in the right direction. Working in cooperation to make the palm oil supply chain sustainable has helped result in 20% of global palm oil production now being sustainable,’ says Bas Rüter, Director of Sustainability at Rabobank. ‘Turning your back on the palm oil sector and looking away certainly won’t help the palm oil supply chain become more sustainable.’

Rabobank will continue to focus its efforts and policy on making the palm oil sector sustainable, partly in cooperation with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The RSPO brings together a large group of companies that have activities in the production, trade and processing of palm oil. Civil society organisations, including WWF and Oxfam Novib, and banks are also members of the roundtable.

Rabobank expects companies that produce palm oil to fulfil Rabobank’s sustainability requirements and RSPO’s sustainability criteria. If signs emerge that a client may not be fulfilling the sustainability criteria, the bank asks the related client to provide clarification and makes it clear that the sustainability criteria must be fulfilled in full.

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