India adopts national framework for sustainable palm oil production

Solidaridad Network, in association with The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India, is pleased to announce the launch of the Indian Palm Oil Sustainability Framework.

The Indian Palm Oil Sustainability (IPOS) Framework was launched at the Annual General Meeting of The Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEA) held on 13 September in the presence of Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong – Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC), Government of Malaysia, and Joyo Supriyono, Chairman of GAPKI, Indonesian Palm Oil Association who honoured the occasion by participating at the launch.

A multi-stakeholder approach

The IPOS is a set of environmental and social criteria applicable in Indian conditions to produce and trade in sustainable palm oil. The framework is jointly developed by The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India, Solidaridad and Society for Promotion of Oil Palm Research and Development under the Indian Institute of Oil Palm Research (IIOPR) of the Indian Government in consultation with key Indian stakeholders across the country. The IPOS framework will be governed by the multi-stakeholder national platform for sustainable palm oil and will have its secretariat  located in the office of the Solvent Extractors’ of India in Mumbai. Solidaridad team would support its implementation in India and across Asia.

The IPOS framework contains principles and standard practices which are economically viable, environmentally appropriate and socially beneficial and are aligned with national and international legislation and applicable regulations. IPOS would improve sustainability practices of supply chain stakeholders and also assist them in achieving compliance with applicable national and international regulations as well as voluntary codes. It would also potentially create harmonization with other national initiatives for a sustainable palm oil sector in other Asian countries.

Government support for success

Madam Musdhalifah Machmud – Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs Republic of Indonesia shared through email: “A national sustainability framework is becoming a global need to achieve sustainability in vegetable oil production and trade including palm oil in the long run. This has been shown by India which launched India Palm Oil Sustainability Framework today. Indonesian Government welcomes the IPOS Framework and looks forward to working with Indian palm oil industry to make IPOS a more effective and efficient system and future cooperation between the IPOS and ISPO frameworks.”

Dr Shatadru Chattopadhyay, Managing Director, Solidaridad Network Asia mentioned, “The IPOS framework that we have jointly developed with SEA will provide Indian palm oil industry with an economically viable sustainability model that is suited to Indian market realities. The implementation of IPOS framework is expected to create better farm management, improved productivity, better environmental performance and improved working conditions at the production sites. The early results coming out of our pilot site in Andhra Pradesh where IPOS framework is implemented by Solidaridad is encouraging. We are committed to working with Indian palm oil extraction industry and Indian Government to get IPOS recognized by different stakeholders across the world as an effective sustainability framework”.

Speaking on the occasion, Atul Chaturvedi, President of Solvent Extractors’ Association of India shared that, “The IPOS framework is created by the Indian palm oil industry, for the Indian palm oil industry and owned by Indian palm oil stakeholders. The IPOS programme would facilitate the Indian palm oil industry to be ready for facing future customer demands, safeguard the competitiveness of the Indian palm oil industry, improve relationships and loyalty in the supply chain within and outside the country and position India as one of the global leaders in sustainable production and trade in palm oil”.  

Dr B V Mehta, Executive Director, Solvent Extractors’ Association of India, SEA, added, “Indian Palm Oil Sustainability framework would pave the way towards promoting sustainable production and trade along with improvement in the social, economic and environmental performance of the palm oil sector. I am confident that the IPOS would bring out the strengths and address the existing gaps towards improving sustainability, enhancing credibility, income of farmers and foster the performance of Solvent Extraction Industry and edible oil security for the country.”

IPOS would focus on the following:

  • Provide one unified sustainability framework tailor-made for the Indian palm oil industry
  • Support farmers with better farm management
  • Improve productivity of smallholder farmers
  • Enable better environmental performance
  • Improve working conditions at the production sites
  • Align with other national sustainability standards in the world using IPOS as the benchmark

Learn more about Solidaridad programmes in South-East Asia.