Transition of the palm oil sector in Colombia

Colombia is a country with great potential for agriculture production and a need of rural livelihood options with impact after decades of conflict. Palm oil can provide such livelihoods when it is produced in a sustainable way outside biodiversity hotspots; which creates interesting opportunities for social and economic development in the countryside.

Oil palm is currently the third most important crop in Colombia, with over 400,000 hectares planted generating more than a 130,000 jobs and embracing smallholders in inclusive business models. It is a sector committed towards a sustainable palm oil production through good agricultural, environmental and social practices.

Solidaridad in partnership with the National Federation of Oil Palm Growers “FEDEPALMA” supports the improvement of palm oil production through the RSPO standard and the adoption of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). The Farmer Support Programme (FSP) in Colombia is supporting a group of five palm oil producing companies (Aceites S.A., Palmaceites S.A, Hacienda La Cabaña S.A., Aceites Manuelita S.A. and INDUPALMA) to move towards sustainable production of palm oil. Implementation of Good Agricultural Practices and compliance with the RSPO standard will secure their access to international markets benefiting the entire supply chain.

Solidaridad, Fedepalma and Agrobiz are joining efforts with those five companies to make this project a successful experience that could be multiplied to other mills and smallholders who are moving to sustainable production.

Promoting responsible and sustainable production

The project will have an important impact on the livelihood of more than 500 smallholders and 7,000 workers who are living in rural areas or remote regions and wheremost of the members of their communities cannot meet their most basic needs.

Three years after the approval of Colombia’s National Interpretation of RSPO, only one company is RSPO certified. This project will enable the five participating companies, to share knowledge and provide their own capital to make mass production of sustainable palm oil a reality in the country. Through the involvement and support of FEDEPALMA, the project will help to boost the palm oil sector in Colombia and result in more sustainable and efficient practices that could be followed by other companies and producers in the sector.

This project is made possible with financial contributions from the palm oil companies, FEDEPALMA, the Dutch government, the RSPO and Johnson & Johnson.