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Palm growers in Côte d'Ivoire

Palm Policy

Olam’s palm business has the unique opportunity to be the front-runner in establishing sustainable palm plantations in Africa. We are using the Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Principles and Criteria as a baseline for our sustainability framework which we have bolstered with additional environmental and social measures. 

We will play a proactive role in the RSPO to help broaden the application of the Principles and Criteria through our long-term knowledge in Africa, and our successful completion of the New Planting Procedure.

In June 2015 we updated our sustainable Palm Oil Policy, originally launched in 2011, to include our upstream and supply chain operations.


1) Commitment to forest conservation¹ and reduction of GHG emissions

  • No deforestation or conversion of high conservation value forests and ecosystems
  • No deforestation or conversion of high carbon stock forests, determined through a multi-stakeholder process in key origins² (see annex 1 for time-bound targets in PDF under Resource on this page)
  • No deforestation or conversion of peatlands
  • Work towards maximising greenhouse gas capture, renewable energy use and utilisation of by-products

2) Commitment to develop sustainable palm plantations

  • Effective implementation of the RSPO standard in our own operations
  • Active participation in the RSPO council to support its global objectives
  • Participation in the development of relevant RSPO National Interpretations
  • Support the development of a responsible land use plan and sustainability framework where we operate
  • Build local and national capacity to implement RSPO practices
  • Make a positive contribution to biodiversity conservation on and off-site by adopting a landscape approach to biodiversity conservation on and off-site by adopting a landscape approach to management.

3) Commitment to implement sustainable supply chains for our trading operations by 2020

  • Full traceability of our palm oil supplies (see annex 1 for time-bound targets in PDF under Resource on this page)
  • Eliminate uncontrolled and unsustainable sources of Palm Oil including sources which do not conform to our Commitment on Forest Conservation (see annex 1 in PDF under Resource on this page)
  • Implement full compliance by suppliers to our Supplier Code³ or RSPO
  • Periodic verification of our supply chain information and mitigation of outstanding sustainability risks in the supply chain.

4) Commitment to respect rights of all workers and improving the livelihood of rural communities

  • Engage transparently to ensure Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of local communities and stakeholders
  • Enforce a strict child labour / forced labour rule as defined by ILO standards and national laws
  • Provision of a healthy and safe work place for our employees, contractors and visitors
  • Within our own plantations, support skills development to enable self-reliance in local communities and catalyse local enterprise
  • Contribute to community development, healthcare and education programmes
  • Support outgrowers to build capacity, improve yields, apply good practices and avoid deforestation.

5) Commitment to transparency

  • Submitting the RSPO annual progress report
  • Continuous engagement with national and international stakeholders in our Palm Oil supply chains
  • Transparent reporting on our progress towards end-to-end sustainability goals
  • Providing an annual report on progress towards sustainable supply chains on the Olam

¹ Annex 2
² Annex 2 & 3