We are happy to announce that, as of the 13th of July, the operations at Goldtree S.L. Ltd have achieved RSPO certification. This means that we at Planting Naturals can offer palm oil products from Goldtree that adhere to the standards of the RSPO. By adhering to this standard, it demonstrates that the palm oil from Goldtree is produced in a way that is ethical and transparent, respects the local communities and human rights of their farmers, while also protecting and enhancing the ecosystems in which our palm oil plantations are found.
Goldtree’s operations are located near Daru in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone and consists of a palm oil mill, with the capacity to process around 20 tonnes of Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFBs) per hour, with the main product from the mill being certified sustainable palm oil.
Additionally, a portion of our smallholder farmers, the Ngoyaï Gbaayegie Farmer Based Organisation (FBO), that supply us with the FFBs we use to produce our palm oil products have also achieved RSPO certification. This means that 4,983 smallholder farmers, covering an area of 8,667 hectares are supplying our operations in Goldtree with FFBs that have been produced in a sustainable manner, according to RSPO's standards.
These smallholders have achieved certification according to RSPO’s newest standards, having achieved Milestone B of the ‘RSPO Independent Smallholder Standard’. The Ngoyaï Gbaayegie FBO is the first group of independent smallholders in Africa to achieve this; they are also the largest group of independent smallholders worldwide - according to the number of members and area covered - to be certified at this level.
Smallholders are farmers that grow oil palm, in which the majority of labour comes from the family owning the farm, and this supplies the majority of their income. Smallholders account for around 40% of total global palm oil production, so they are an integral aspect towards a totally sustainable oil palm industry.
Eric Senesei – the spokesperson for the Ngoyai Gbaayegie FBO – expresses his excitement for having become RSPO certified. Farmers in the Ngoyai Gbaayegie FBO have welcomed the RSPO’s presence, having provided training for better harvesting methods and allowing for their production rate to increase rapidly. While many of the farmers in this FBO were already applying Good Agricultural Practices on their farms, Mr. Senesei expresses his happiness and excitement that they have been recognised and certified by the RSPO.
Planting Naturals and Goldtree S.L. Ltd are committed to ensuring all our palm oil products and operations, and those of our suppliers, are truly certified as sustainable. Alongside this, we also will continue to ensure that our business is one of prosperity for all those involved - the palm oil industry, the local farmers and suppliers and the natural environment in which we operate in.
Click the link below to read the article published on the RSPO website about the independent smallholders achieving certification.
Written by Tom Hersbach