Third company earns RSPO certification in Ghana

Solidaridad partner Norpalm Ghana Ltd is the second company to achieve certification under Solidaridad’s Sustainable West African Palm Oil Programme (SWAPP) and the third company to attain RSPO certification in Ghana. Norpalm has earned the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification for its central palm oil plantation and mill.

Norpalm became a member of the RSPO in 2014 and has since implemented globally acceptable best management and sustainable practices on their plantation, mill and associated smallholders. They underwent a certification audit in 2015 and a surveillance audit in August 2016. The RSPO certification was awarded in December 2016.

Plantation Manager of Norpalm Ghana Ltd, Charles Mate-Kole is excited about their achievement and indicates the RSPO certification is evidence of their commitment to the responsible production of palm oil.  He said, “It is a dream come true as we have invested a lot of resources to implement the RSPO principles and criteria across the entire business. The certification makes Norpalm a credible player in the palm oil sector globally.”

Benefits of certification  

Mate-Kole is encouraged by the benefits of becoming RSPO certified. He said they have already started seeing the benefits of better waste management, improved compliance with regulatory requirements, reduction of workplace accidents and an enhanced productivity in their company.

Financial institutions will now feel more comfortable doing business with Norpalm. There is also the possibility of getting better premiums for Crude Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil produced. – Mate-Kole, Plantation Manager of Norpalm Ghana Ltd  

RSPO certification is a global standard for sustainable palm oil production. Read more!

SWAPP supports sustainability success

The SWAPP was a four-year programme implemented by Solidaridad West Africa in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria from 2012 to 2016. SWAPP was aimed at increasing the productivity and profitability of the small- to medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the palm oil sector.

Norpalm Ghana Ltd is one of the palm oil companies that benefited from the RSPO component of SWAPP. Support provided to palm oil companies included capacity building for implementing the RSPO principles and criteria, support for bridging gaps and technical assistance during internal and external audits. The RSPO certification component of SWAPP was implemented in partnership with Proforest.

SWAPP also supported Benso Oil Palm Plantation (BOPP) – a subsidiary of Wilmar International Ltd – who received RSPO certification in 2014.

Norpalm Ghana Ltd Management Team

According to Rosemary Addico, Solidaridad’s palm oil programme manager for Ghana, the RSPO certification of Norpalm Ghana Ltd positions the company to penetrate the international market. She said, “This is a major achievement with a commitment from major buyers to purchase only RSPO certified palm oil and palm oil derivatives from traceable, known and sustainable certified sources from 2020, it is of great importance for oil palm processing companies in Ghana to work towards achieving RSPO certification by 2020.”

Best practices for profitability and sustainability

SWAPP promoted yield intensification through the implementation of best management practices to improve oil palm farm profitability and sustainability. RSPO group certification programmes provided smallholder oil palm farmers with the means to “mainstream” sustainable practices. More independent smallholders are expected to be integrated into the sustainable oil palm supply chain in the near future.

SWAPP also focused on the expansion of RSPO certification in Ghana, Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire. The main objectives were to support RSPO National Interpretation processes, capacity building for industry players to implement RSPO, preparing companies and their supply base towards RSPO certification and integrating independent smallholder farmers in the sustainable palm oil supply chain.

Major achievements under the RSPO component of SWAPP include the following:

  • Two leading industrial palm oil companies in Ghana achieved RSPO certification and a third has gone through the certification audit

  • Almost a hundred RSPO lead auditors trained in West Africa

  • 1,500 smallholders in Ghana and Nigeria underwent preparation for RSPO certification audit with support from the RSPO Smallholder Support Fund

  • RSPO National Interpretation for Ghana endorsed by the RSPO Secretariat

Learn more about Solidaridad's global palm oil programme.