Solidaridad in association with The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India, SEA and Society for Promotion of Oil Palm Research and Development under the Indian Institute of Oil Palm Research (IIOPR) have crafted the Indian Palm Oil Sustainability framework (IPOS). The IPOS framework was launched in the Annual General Meeting of The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA).
Oil Palm (Elaeisguineensis), is the high oil yielding crop than most other competing crops. The cost of production of oil is also low which means food production is also cheaper and ultimately, food is more affordable. As of today, it has acquired the status of the largest source of vegetable oil in the world. Since it is an important ingredient for food, feed and fuel or oleo-chemical products; its production and trade in the world is rapidly catching up. The demand for palm oil is booming because of:
- Increase in consumption of palm oil as foodstuff especially in developing countries and emerging economies such as India and China
- Increasing demand for consumer products
- Expanding use of palm oil in biofuel production
Looking at the contribution of Oil Palm so far, it is likely that the future demand encompassing as edible oil, industrial use and bio-fuel will be met by this crop. On account of globally ever increasing demand for edible oil, it is visualised that the global area and production under oil palm will further grow in future to cater to the needs.
Considering the current as well as future demand this calls for cautiously addressing the socio- economic and environmental sustainability issues in the sector so that the Palm Oil production and trade can be achieved in sustainable manner.
IPOS is a sustainability palm oil framework based on Indian laws, practices and market realities but aligned with globally accepted sustainability principles. It is created by the Indian palm oil industry, for the Indian palm oil industry and owned by Indian palm oil stakeholders. IPOS would facilitate cost effective continuous improvement process verified by IT solutions rather than expensive international certification and implementation would be supported by Solidaridad jointly with SEA.
IPOS would focus on the following:
- 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
- Improved working conditions at the production sites
- Align with other national sustainability standards in the world using IPOS as the benchmark
The IPOS framework will be governed by the multi-stakeholder national platform for sustainable palm oil and will have its secretariat managed from the office of the Solvent Extractors’ of India in Mumbai. Solidaridad would support its implementation in India and across Asia.